Achieve Together - Bournemouth

The Achieve Together Bournemouth Partnership was a pilot collaboration between Teach First, Teaching Leaders and The Future Leaders Trust and funded by J.P. Morgan and the EEF. It was a new initiative that aimed to work with primary and secondary schools in two socially deprived areas of Bournemouth to test the feasibility of improving the educational outcomes of children by placing and developing high quality teachers in participating schools; delivering leadership development programmes in a coordinated way; and uniting a broad community of stakeholders outside the schools to collaborate to achieve area-based change.


Cross curriculum


EEF Summary

The Achieve Together Bournemouth Partnership was a new initiative that worked with 3 primary and 6 secondary schools in two socially deprived areas of Bournemouth from 2013 to 2016. Bournemouth was an area of interest to the funders and providers due to its diversity in student outcomes. It has a selective system, but had a relatively high proportion of schools performing around the Government’s “floor standard”.

EEF funded the development of the initiative, which was the first time that the charities had worked in the area or had formally worked in schools in such an aligned way. The partnership placed 17 Teach First participants in the schools over the 3 years, and a further 26 staff participated on programmes from Teaching Leaders and the Future Leaders Trust.

Schools struggled to engage fully with the partnership. They had difficulties in funding the individual programmes and identifying suitable participants, and then in aligning participants’ activities. Beyond the in-school elements, the project also aimed to work with the broader community, but it proved challenging to link the wider community work with the school-based initiatives. The findings yield useful lessons for other area-based partnerships, about schools’ capacity to engage with such programmes and the time that it takes for such initiatives to embed.

At its current stage of development the Achieve Together Bournemouth Partnership is not ready for trial. EEF undertook a separate efficacy trial of the school-based elements of Achieve Together.

Research Results




Is there evidence to support the theory of change?


The three-year pilot did not provide sufficient evidence to suggest that the programme can improve outcomes for pupils.

Was the approach feasible?


Difficulties recruiting and engaging schools in the pilot and aligning impact initiatives across leadership programmes suggests the model is not feasible in its current format.

Is the approach ready to be evaluated in a trial?


Lack of evidence to support the theory of change and challenges in the implementation of the pilot indicate that the Achieve Together Bournemouth Partnership model is not ready to be evaluated in a trial.

Evaluation info





Key Stage

Start date

September 2012

End date

July 2017

Type of trial

Pilot Study

Evaluation Conclusions

  1. The Achieve Together Bournemouth Partnership model is not suitable for trial because of difficulties in engaging sufficient schools with all elements of the model.

  2. Aligning projects undertaken by participants of the different leadership programmes was challenging, despite being a key aim of the model. Of the four school-led projects taken forward, none involved participants on all three of the individual programmes.

  3. Stakeholders thought a longer timescale was needed to embed area-based change and questions were raised over whether schools have the capacity and are best placed to take the lead on area-based change.

  4. Average attainment in participating schools has not changed dramatically since involvement with the pilot. However, given the small-scale and area-based nature of the project, it would have been difficult to identify impact with confidence.

  5. The programme changed and developed over the course of the three-year pilot. Initiatives of this type are likely to need to continuously adapt, making it difficult to specify the core components for future evaluations.

  1. Updated: 18th February, 2021

    Printable project summary

    1 MB pdf - EEF-achieve-together-bournemouth.pdf

  2. Updated: 6th July, 2017

    Evaluation Report

    1 MB pdf - Achieve_Together_Bournemouth_Partnership_Evaluation_Report.pdf

  3. Updated: 30th August, 2017


    263 KB pdf

Full project description