School Effectiveness

Using a range of approaches, we explore the factors that ensure high-quality education for all pupils, from complex school interventions, to the use of technology in the classroom, teacher retention and more

Research, commentary, and events

  • A group therapy session with diverse people, photo by Yuri Arcurs peopleimages.com/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Evaluating 'SAFE' Taskforces aimed at re-engaging secondary students

    RAND Europe, in consortium with FFT Datalab and University of Westminster, has been commissioned by the Youth Endowment Fund to evaluate the impact, cost, and implementation of Support, Attend, Fulfil, Exceed (SAFE) Taskforces in ten areas of the UK.

    27 Sep 2022

  • Young students conduct a planting experiment in science laboratory class

    Project

    Evaluating Primary Science Quality Mark

    A randomised controlled trial (RCT) evaluating the impact of PSQM sought to understand the impact of the intervention on pupils and teachers. The study also examined how the intervention is implemented.

    15 Jul 2022

  • A student listens through headphones to an exercise in a Spanish class in Steveange, UK, photo by Ian Miles/Flashpoint Pictures/Alamy

    Essay

    The Economic Returns of Foreign Language Learning

    If just 10 percent more students in the United Kingdom mastered Arabic, Mandarin, French, or Spanish, the economic returns could be measured in billions of British pounds. Removing the language barrier reduces trade costs.

    07 Jul 2022

  • Multi-ethnic group of young people sitting in circle and sharing ideas during class in college, photo by Seventyfour/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Evaluation of the Alternative Provision Specialist Taskforce (APST)

    The Department for Education's two-year pilot APST aims to reduce serious youth violence and improve pupil outcome among students in alternative provision settings. Researchers are conducting a process evaluation of the project over the course of the pilot.

    10 May 2022

  • Elementary school children reading a book, photo by Rawpixel.com/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Understanding the impact of peer-assisted learning strategies

    RAND Europe evaluated the impacts of peer-assisted learning strategies (PALS) in England. The evaluation sought to understand the impact of PALS on reading attainment but the assessment was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    16 Mar 2022

  • Thank you in many languages, photo by aaabbc/Adobe Stock

    Project

    The economic value to the UK of speaking other languages

    Languages play a significant role in international trade, and not sharing a common language acts as a non-tariff trade barrier. Investing in Arabic, French, Mandarin or Spanish languages education in the UK will most likely return more than the investment cost, even under conservative assumptions.

    21 Feb 2022

  • School students discussing science with their teacher in class

    Project

    RCT evaluates the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants programme

    In the first randomised controlled trial studying the efficacy of a whole-school intervention aimed at improving how schools deploy TAs in everyday classrooms, researchers found MITA had an effect on TA deployment, preparation, and interactions, and on pupil engagement. However, this did not translate into an impact on pupil attainment.

    29 Sep 2021

  • Little girl sitting on the floor reading a book

    Project

    Evaluating the Accelerated Reader Scheme

    An evaluation of Renaissance Learning's AR scheme explored whether the programme has a positive effect on the reading comprehension of randomly assigned pupils, particularly those who are eligible for free school meals.

    28 Jul 2021

  • Black teenage boy with headphones using a laptop, photo by New Africa/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Analysing the relationship between Sparx Maths and maths outcomes

    Time spent using and actively working in Sparx Maths is positively and significantly associated with higher outcomes in maths for all students, but access alone — ignoring usage — did not have any effects.

    16 Feb 2021

  • Young high school teacher helping students, photo by Monkey Business Images/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Discrete choice experiment helps explain teacher retention in England

    Results of a stated preference survey of teachers in England show which job characteristics matter most to them and the trade-offs they would be willing to make between pay and other characteristics of the work environment.

    09 Feb 2021

  • Careers advisor meeting female university student, photo by Monkey Business Images/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Examining the quality of career guidance in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

    Surveying 54 secondary schools and colleges and interviewing 10 career guidance service providers, researchers produced a comprehensive picture of how career guidance is provided in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and how these services meet the needs of children and young people.

    21 Jul 2020

  • Young school girls studying the heart using tablet computers

    Project

    Evaluating Digital Feedback in Primary Maths

    A partnership of primary schools in Lincolnshire developed an intervention that seeks to maximise the impact of teachers’ feedback on pupils’ outcome through the use of video. However, an efficacy trial and associated process evaluation of the intervention found that it does not improve pupil outcomes.

    01 Oct 2019

  • Businessman and businesswoman discussing hanging paperwork in office

    Project

    Developing tools to assess research evidence for policymakers and practitioners

    Researchers developed recommendations for the College of Policing and the Education Endowment Foundation on how to assess evidence from research studies and make evidence-informed recommendations for practitioners and policymakers.

    01 Mar 2019

  • School children perform a chemistry experiment

    Project

    Evaluating 'Aspire to STEM'

    Researchers are evaluating an intervention aimed at improving STEM teaching and learning in UK schools in disadvantaged areas. The project aims to understand what impact the intervention has on children’s learning and teacher retention.

    14 Aug 2018

  • Moroccan girls walking to school

    Project

    Supporting the OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment in Morocco

    As part of a larger OECD effort, RAND Europe researchers analysed the strengths and challenges of Morocco's current approach for teacher appraisal and provided four actionable policy recommendations as well as advice for implementing improvements.

    23 Jul 2018

  • Students raise their hands during class

    Project

    Exploring Why an Incentivised Pay Study Failed to Recruit Enough Teachers

    Researchers tried to conduct a randomised control trial to understand whether UK teachers could be motivated with incentivised pay and coaching, but they failed to recruit enough participants. To help future studies, they changed their research to explore why the recruitment effort failed.

    05 Feb 2018

  • High school students asleep in their class

    Commentary

    The Early Bird Catches the Worm? Probably Not

    School start times are becoming a hotly debated topic across the United States. Starting middle and high schools at 8:30 a.m. would improve teen health, and the economic benefits of this shift would likely outweigh the costs.

    12 Sep 2017

  • Early morning school bus

    Project

    Delaying U.S. School Start Times Would Have Large Benefits

    An economic analysis shows that delaying U.S. high school start times is a cost-effective, population-level strategy that could have a significant, positive impact on public health and the U.S. economy.

    30 Aug 2017

  • Two students working together in a chemistry class

    Commentary

    Cambridgeshire Is at the Heart of England's Teacher Shortage Problem

    Teacher shortages could be a real threat in Cambridgeshire, unless larger numbers of secondary school teachers are attracted and retained. There are simply too few new teachers replacing those who retire, with this gap being even more pronounced in STEM subjects.

    21 Mar 2017

  • High school teacher teaching group of students in classroom

    Project

    Attracting and Retaining Teachers in Cambridgeshire

    Teacher shortages could be a real and imminent threat in Cambridgeshire unless more new secondary school teachers are attracted and retained. The region should explore the association between teachers’ working and living conditions, why not enough teachers are attracted to work in Cambridgeshire and why teachers are leaving the profession.

    20 Mar 2017

  • Missing data

    Project

    Accounting for Missing Data in the Second Longitudinal Study of Young People in England

    The Department for Education commissioned RAND Europe to provide a statistically robust, unbiased, and consistent approach to account for missing Key Stage 2 data in the LSYPE2 cohort. The final report balances the need for practical solutions for analysts with the desire to exhaustively explore options for dealing with the missing data.

    09 Jan 2017

  • Syrian refugee children

    Project

    Next Steps for UNICEF's Emergency Education Response Programme in Jordan

    An evaluation recommends that UN agencies, donors, partners, and the Jordanian government develop and implement a strategy to manage the influx and education of child refugees. Jordanian and refugee children both will benefit from expanding the Jordanian education system's safety, quality and performance.

    29 Sep 2016