Education Endowment Foundation:Evidence guardianship

Evidence guardianship

The EEF’s role as an independent evidence guardian’ in the teacher development reforms

Research evidence tells us that teachers are the most influential within-school factor in determining children and young people’s academic attainment. We also know that professional development has the potential to significantly improve teacher effectiveness, which can in turn help to close disadvantage gaps.

That is why the EEF is committed to ensuring that teacher professional development in England is underpinned by the best available evidence.

Since 2019, the EEF has been working to support reforms to national teacher development programmes led by the Department for Education. Performing the role of an independent evidence guardian’, the EEF has ensured that statutory and non-statutory policy frameworks are underpinned by robust evidence and that this evidence is applied according to research findings.

Work so far

To date, this has included acting as an evidence guardian for the following teacher development policies:

  • The Early Career Framework. The EEF independently reviewed the evidence underpinning the policy framework (see here), and quality assured the use of this evidence in programme materials (see here for publicly available content).
  • National Professional Qualifications. The EEF independently reviewed the evidence underpinning the new and updated policy frameworks (see here), and quality assured the use of this evidence in lead providers’ programme materials.
  • The Initial Teacher Training Core Content Framework. The EEF independently reviewed the evidence underpinning the policy framework (see here).

The EEF is committed to continuing its work to ensure that policy frameworks and professional development programmes are built upon robust national and international evidence, including by continuing to work closely with lead providers and the DfE in its role as an independent reviewer of the evidence.

Independent evaluations

Also, to generate evidence on the implementation of the reforms mentioned, the EEF has commissioned several independent evaluations with external organisations who have generated data on the successes and challenges of operationalising such reforms at a national scale.

Answers to common questions about our evidence guardianship role for the teacher professional development reforms, including the Early Career Framework (ECF) and National Professional Qualifications (NPQs).