Education Endowment Foundation:Chess in Primary Schools

Chess in Primary Schools

Chess in Primary Schools
Implementation cost
Evidence strength
Impact (months)
Independent Evaluator
The Institute of Education
The Institute of Education logo
Testing the impact of learning chess on educational attainment.
Schools: 100 Grant: £689,150
Key Stage: 1 Duration: 3 year(s) 9 month(s) Type of Trial: Effectiveness Trial
Completed Jul 2016

Chess in Primary Schools is a whole-school approach to teaching primary school children how to play chess. Children take 30 hours of chess lessons delivered by a tutor who is an experienced chess player, and the school is given the option to set up a chess club as a lunchtime or after-school activity. Chess classes are delivered during the school day and are expected to replace subjects such as music or PE.

The intervention was evaluated using a two-armed randomised controlled trial. The trial took place over the 2013/2014 academic year and assessed the impact of one year of Chess in Primary Schools on the mathematics attainment of pupils in Year 5. It was an effectiveness trial, with the intervention tested under realistic conditions in a large number of schools. This study looks at whether the intervention had an impact on attainment one year after the intervention had ended in June 2015. One hundred schools across 11 local education authorities (LEAs) in England participated in the trial, a total of 4,009 pupils. A process evaluation was also carried out to answer questions about implementation and to help explain the findings of the trial. The programme was delivered by the education charity Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC).

Project type:Effectiveness Trial
Key stage:Key Stage 2
Cost per pupil:£32