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School Partnership Programme

EEF-funded School Partnership Programme with the Education Development Trust (EDT)  - an opportunity for schools - apply by Friday 6 October 2017

Education Endowment Foundation funded trial of Schools Partnership Programme – develop leadership capacity in collaborative school improvement across your local system

We are delighted to announce that the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) will be funding a large trial of Education Development Trust’s Schools Partnership Programme (SPP). A team from UCL Institute of Education (IOE) will independently evaluate whether a rigorous cluster-based approach to peer review and school-to-school support can lead to improved outcomes for pupils. 110,000 pupils in 300 schools are expected to take part, starting in January 2018 and finishing in July 2020. We are looking to work with a select number of local systems to build significant senior and middle leadership capacity and capability to support a culture of continuous and sustainable improvement. Brief details about the project can be found in this email but more details about the model can be found on our website;

If you believe schools in your locality may be interested in taking part, please contact: Catherine Thompson by e-mail:

Why are EEF funding SPP?

‘School peer review is a popular approach to school improvement, and this model in particular has had significant reach already. The model itself is informed by international literature about school improvement, such as the work of Michael Fullan and Viviane Robinson. However, it has not been evaluated robustly. Partly this is because such models are complex to evaluate: they have varied inputs and a whole range of outcomes, and therefore huge scale and complicated process evaluations are required to identify what impact they have, and what is driving that impact. This trial could produce useful evidence for schools looking to adopt this or a similar approach.’  Education Endowment Foundation;

What is SPP?

Already in England, 800 schools are participating in SPP, with over 1000 leaders involved and benefitting over the last 3 years. They are working within a framework designed by school leaders and Education Development Trust, which provides a cluster-based approach to school improvement. The training, support and essential tools help schools develop the abilities and the environment which means they lead their own improvement through a continuous cycle of school self-review, peer review and school-to-school support.

Who is Education Development Trust?

SPP is an Education Development Trust service.  Education Development Trust (Ed Dev Trust to our friends) is an international not-for-profit organisation which transforms lives by improving education around the world, working with governments, donor agencies and schools directly to drive improvements in a huge range of contexts.

Why join the trial?

In summary:

  • 4 days of high-quality leadership training and 2 days of impact support for leaders at all levels that will develop their capacity and capability in peer review and school-to-school support.
  • Technical skills and culture embedded across schools, clusters and the wider local system to embed a culture of continuous and sustainable improvement.
  • Participation in a national approach to peer review and collaborative improvement that 800 schools are already part of.

What will it cost?

  • Thanks to substantial EEF funding, the per school contribution is just one primary pupil premium payment for the full 3-year project.
  • In return, schools will be expected to work closely with EDT and the independent evaluators from UCL Institute of Education to deliver the programme faithfully, and provide information needed for the evaluation (interviews, surveys, school data etc.).

Who can take part?

  • Only state schools in England can take part who, have not previously been involved in SPP.
  • For clusters (of between 3-7 schools) – individual schools cannot sign up.
  • The trial will evaluate KS2 outcomes so there must be at least 3 primary schools in every cluster taking part (secondary schools are welcome to take part in the project but their outcomes won’t be part of the evaluation).
  • We are looking to work with a significant number of clusters in just select number of areas– so we are particularly interested to hear from Teaching Schools, MATs and local authorities (and equivalent bodies) who have the larger networks to raise awareness of the project.

Contact us at to ask more questions and find out next steps for recruitment – we’d love to hear from you.