EEF welcomes Government support for evidence-based early years programme

The Education Endowment Foundation has welcomed today’s announcement by the Department for Education that it is to make Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) – one of the EEF’s Promising Projects – available to state-funded primary schools at no cost. This will be funded as part of the Government’s £350m allocation to tutoring, through the £1bn Covid-19 'catch-up' package announced in June 2020.

The NELI programme supports the language and early literacy skills of Reception pupils through additional targeted support provided by trained early years staff. Initially funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the EEF has since funded two randomised controlled trials testing its impact - the most recent found that children receiving the NELI programme made the equivalent of +3 additional months’ progress in oral language skills, on average, compared to children who did not receive NELI.

Early years support for schools

Early years support for schools

All state-funded primary schools are eligible to sign up for Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI), an EEF Promising Project that's been shown to improve Reception-age children's speaking and language skills.

As a result, NELI is listed as one of the EEF's Promising Projects. We are currently supporting a development pilot of an online training model to enable NELI to be delivered at scale. This has been made possible thanks to the financial support of ICG, which is supporting the EEF to scale up our Promising Projects.

Professor Becky Francis, Chief Executive of the EEF, commented:

Whether or not a child learns to communicate effectively at a young age directly impacts their life chances. Our trials have shown the Nuffield Early Language Intervention to be a low-cost way to boost young children’s speaking and listening skills. The proven strength of its impact makes it an exciting prospect to support young children whose language skills have been most affected by school and nursery closures.