EEF grant making: 5 charts showing the what, who, where, when and why

On 11 November, 2011, the EEF announced the first four grants awarded to projects aiming to improve the attainment of disadvantaged young people in order to close the gap. 

The story didn't, of course, stop there. 

The EEF funds more randomised controlled trials in education than any other organisation globally. In just six years, the EEF has more than doubled the amount of available evidence from trials in education in this country, and has commissioned more than 10 per cent of all known trials in education around the world. 

Our  latest annual report, which covers our work until September 2017, provides an overview. 

EEF Annual Report 2016-17

Here are 5 charts which illustrate how our grant making aims to make a difference...

1. 'Scores on the doors'

Over the past 6 years, the EEF has committed more than £96 million to fund 160 projects. 134 of these are being evaluated as RCTs. 

These have  involved 10,000+ primary and  secondary schools, as well as early years and post-16 settings, and reached in excess of 1 million children and young people -- 35% of whom are disadvantaged.

The average additional progress made by students in the  EEF's Promising Projects is +4 months.

2. Who delivers EEF-funded projects

The  projects we fund are delivered by a range of providers, principally charities, universities, and schools and local authorities. 

By exception, the EEF can also fund trials of projects delivered by for-profit companies in those instances where there is an important programme worth testing and we are satisfied it is the only viable route for schools to access it. 

3. Where does the EEF fund projects

The EEF funds work across England. Our current regional spread broadly reflects the distribution of disadvantage, though with a greater focus in the north of England where we have two  campaigns to promote effective use of evidence running:

4. Who are EEF-funded projects aimed at

The EEF funds projects for children and young people, aged 3-18. A significant amount of our early work focused on the  transition of pupils from primary to secondary school:

5. Why we re-grant to projects

The EEF’s grant-funding generates new evidence to secure our understanding of what’s most likely to be effective in improving attainment, especially for the most disadvantaged pupils. As confidence increases in a project’s impact, so we expand its delivery, whether in schools, nurseries or colleges. 

This means we are increasing our spend on scaling up evidence, for example through larger trials of our Promising Projects and the activities of our Research Schools Network.


There are two principal ways teachers and senior leaders can get actively involved in the projects the EEF funds:

  • Apply for funding - we particularly welcome applications from schools and other settings. We have 3 funding rounds open at the moment, focused on (1) Early Years professional development and leadership, (2) improving Science education, and (3) Science teacher retention.
  • Sign up for a trial - our grantees are always looking for volunteers to take part in EEF trials. Not only do you benefit from participating in a high-potential project, but you will also be contributing to important research.