Education Endowment Foundation:Chess in Primary Schools

Chess in Primary Schools

Chess in Primary Schools
Implementation costThe cost estimates in the Toolkits are based on the average cost of delivering the intervention.
Evidence strengthThis rating provides an overall estimate of the robustness of the evidence, to help support professional decision-making in schools.
Impact (months)The impact measure shows the number of additional months of progress made, on average, by children and young people who received the intervention, compared to similar children and young people who did not.
Project info

Independent Evaluator

IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society logo
IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society
Testing the impact of learning chess on educational attainment.
Schools: 100 Grant: £689,150
Key Stage: 2 Duration: 3 year(s) 9 month(s) Type of Trial: Effectiveness Trial
Completed July 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).

ImpactThe size of the difference between pupils in this trial and other pupils
SecurityHow confident are we in this result?
Pupils in CSC schools
Months' progress
Pupils in CSC schools eligible for FSM
Months' progress