The EEF was initiated in November 2010, when then Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, announced plans to establish an education endowment foundation intended to help raise standards in challenging schools, inspired by the Obama administration’s Race to the Top initiative in the USA.
In April 2011, the Department for Education announced it had appointed The Sutton Trust, as lead charity in partnership with Impetus, to set up and govern the EEF. They were selected following an open competition which attracted interest from 14 organisations.
The EEF is an independent charity and its nine-strong Board of Trustees ‑ nominated by the Sutton Trust and Impetus ‑ have discretion as to how the organisation meets its charitable objects.
The EEF was formally launched in July 2011, with Chairman Sir Peter Lampl declaring its aim would be to ‘develop initiatives to raise the attainment of the poorest pupils in the most challenging schools’. The EEF took over from the Sutton Trust the development of the Teaching and Learning Toolkit. Kevan Collins was appointed the EEF’s first Chief Executive, and, in the autumn, the EEF announced trials of first four grant-funded projects.