Success for All

Success for All (SfA) is a whole-school approach to improving literacy in primary schools. All teachers and senior leaders are involved, with the school receiving a total of 16 training and support days. Teachers receive pedagogical training - for example on effective phonics teaching - and teaching materials such as structured lesson plans. For the school leadership team there is support in areas such as data management, ability grouping and parental engagement.

Success for All

Success for All UK Foundation

A training and support package for primary schools that aims to improve pupils’ reading ability.

Evidence Strength
Impact (months)
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Key Stage 2

Key stage




EEF Summary

EEF funded this project – the first independent trial of Success for All in the UK – because of the large body of US evidence showing positive effects on children’s literacy, and growing interest from UK schools in the programme. If found to be effective, SFA could offer struggling schools a comprehensive and structured approach to improving children’s literacy.

This trial found that Reception pupils in SFA schools made a small amount of additional progress compared to pupils in other schools after two years. The effect was slightly larger for pupils eligible for free school meals, but in both cases it was smaller than those found in previous evaluations. One possible reason for this is that some schools struggled to implement the programme as intended. For schools with high quality implementation, the effect of the programme appears to have been higher. The comprehensive, highly structured nature of Success for All means that schools need to make substantial commitments to deliver it properly. This was a challenge for some schools in this trial.

EEF has no plans for a further trial of Success for All. Schools considering Success for All should be aware of the commitment involved in adopting the programme and that higher quality implementation was associated with greater impact in this trial.

Research Results

Literacy, End of Reception

Months' Progress
Evidence Strength

Literacy (FSM), End of Reception

Months' Progress


Literacy, End of Year 1

Months' Progress
Evidence Strength

Literacy (FSM), End of Year 1

Months' Progress


Were the schools in the trial similar to my school?

There were 54 schools in the trial, located across the country.

46 of the 54 were Good or Outstanding schools.

Before the intervention, the average percentage of pupils in participating schools achieving expected levels at Key Stage 2 in both English and maths was 72%.

22% of the pupils in the intervention schools were eligible for FSM.

15% of the pupils had English as a second language.

Could I implement this in my school?

The programme is available to buy from the charity Success for All UK (SfA).

There are 2 days of initial training for all teachers and teaching assistants at the start of the school year.

The remaining 14 days of provision take the form of on-going in-school support over 2 years.

The comprehensive, highly structured nature of Success for All involves significant change in school practices. For example, it requires grouping (and regularly re-grouping) children by reading level across year groups.


SLT, Teachers, TAs

Delivered by


Whole School

Participant group


2 Years

Intervention length

How much will it cost?

SfA costs approximately £46,500 per school to implement with the whole school in the first year. Costs reduce significantly in subsequent years.

The per-pupil cost of Success for All is low at £62 per pupil per year over three years, assuming whole-school delivery to a school of 275 pupils.



Cost per pupil



No. of Teachers/TAs


2 Days

Training time per staff member

Evaluation info





Key Stage

Key Stage 2

Start date

January 2013

End date

July 2017

Type of trial

Effectiveness Trial

Evaluation Conclusions

  1. Children who took part in Success for All (SfA) made 1 additional month’s progress, on average, after two years compared to children in other schools. The 3 padlock security rating means that we are moderately confident that this difference was due to SfA.

  2. Children eligible for free school meals (FSM) made 2 additional months’ progress after two years, compared to FSM children in control schools. The smaller number of FSM pupils in the trial limits the security of this result, though combined with other findings in the report it provides some evidence that SfA does improve literacy ability for children eligible for free school meals.

  3. Of the 27 schools receiving SfA, 7 dropped out of the programme completely, and 5 did not implement it to the minimum expected level. There is some indication that lack of engagement with the programme resulted in poorer implementation which may have affected the programme’s impact.

  4. Some schools found SfA prescriptive and adapted the content and delivery of the programme. However, there is some evidence that schools delivering SfA as prescribed by the developers saw larger gains in children’s literacy after two years than those that completed fewer aspects of the programme.

  5. Overall, schools that successfully delivered SfA were enthusiastic and valued the programme in their school.

  1. Updated: 12th July, 2018

    Printable project summary

    1 MB pdf - EEF-success-for-all.pdf

  2. Updated: 6th July, 2017

    Success for All Evaluation Report

    3 MB pdf - Success_for_All_Evaluation_Report.pdf

  3. Updated: 8th February, 2016

    Project Protocol

    427 KB pdf - EEF_Project_Protocol_SuccessForAll.pdf

  4. Updated: 3rd August, 2016

    Amended Project Protocol

    473 KB pdf - EEF_Project_Protocol_SuccessForAll_Amended.pdf

Full project description

Success for All (SfA) is a whole-school approach to improving literacy in primary schools.Teachers receive training in areas including group learning strategies, phonics, and assessment, and are provided with structured daily lesson plans and teaching materials. There is also support for school leadership in areas such as data management, ability grouping, and parental engagement. In this trial, the programme was delivered over two academic years on a whole-school basis by teachers and classroom assistants who were trained and supported by the Success for All Foundation. In total, schools received 16 days of training and support. Although the intervention was delivered on a whole-school basis, the evaluation focused only on the outcomes of 1,767 pupils starting in Reception class, following them through until the end of Year 1. Fifty-four schools took part in this effectiveness trial. An implementation and process evaluation ran alongside the trial to explore implementation and delivery challenges. The evaluation took place between September 2013 and June 2016.