Kent County Council is delighted to have secured additional funding to support Kent schools, which are being invited to apply for a share of more than half a million pounds. The additional funding is to help them improve the educational outcomes of all children and young people in the county but particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Kent County Council has teamed up with charity the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to create The EEFective Kent Project. The three-year project has a pot of £600,000 to be spent on a range of ‘Promising Projects’ that aim to boost improvements in educational outcomes for pupils across the county. The EEF is a charity that supports teachers and senior leaders in schools to raise attainment and close the gap for disadvantaged pupils through sharing and summarising the best evidence that is available and generating new evidence to improve teaching.
Local Authority schools and academies can apply for funding towards one of 13 Promising Projects; The EEFective Kent Project will fund 50% of the project cost and the school will pay the rest. The money will be used to train teachers and/or teaching assistants to deliver a range of projects covering subjects such as literacy, maths, science and extra-curricular activities. The projects are evidence-based, meaning they have shown promising results on attainment when tried and tested in research trials. Some projects are designed for small groups of pupils while others can be delivered to a whole class, and there are projects to suit the full age range, from Early Years to secondary including special schools.
The project began in 2019 and has seen some early adopters secure funding. As schools begin to open to more pupils, this project can support them in their recovery planning and respond to the learning gaps that may have been created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Promising Projects that are on offer to Kent schools were selected as the EEF is confident in the results from research trials that showed a positive impact on attainment.
Richard Long, Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “I am extremely pleased and proud that Kent County Council has joined with the Education Endowment Foundation to form The EEFective Kent Project, which will support all pupils in Kent but particularly those who may not have been able to access the full curriculum since the lockdown.
“KCC was already committed to working towards closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers but since the COVID-19 pandemic, when schools have been closed to the majority of pupils, we are even more dedicated to improving the learning outcomes for all pupils but particularly our vulnerable learners. The Promising Projects, which cover a wide range of subject areas, are one positive and proven way that we can begin to address these issues.
“Kent schools have been doing excellent work during this time for the majority of their children, but this project will reach those who may not have benefitted as much as some of their peers.”
The first application round, which took place in January, was highly successful and saw 97% of schools that applied secure match-funding. Round 2 is now open until Monday, October 26 and schools can apply by completing the online application form. Round 3, the final round of applications, will take place in April 2021. Alongside each round of applications, KCC and the EEF will provide resources such as the Promising Project Virtual Roadshow that schools can access anytime and includes information on all of the Promising Projects on offer.
Warren Smith, head teacher at The Charles Dickens School in Broadstairs, said: “All head teachers recognise the importance of using evidence-based practice to close progress gaps, and this collaboration between Kent County Council and the Education Endowment Foundation is a wonderful opportunity to improve outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.”
The EEFective Kent Project is made up of three parts, the first is Promising Projects in schools. The second part of the project is ‘Evidence-based training for schools’ where schools will be invited to attend evidence-based training delivered by the EEF’s Research School Network. The training on offer is based on the EEF’s guidance reports. The third part of the project is ‘Developing research champions’, which will focus on building the capacity in Kent for evidence-based school improvement and professional development. Further details will be released as the project progresses. The same schools will be able to participate in all three parts of The EEFective Kent Project should they wish to.
Professor Becky Francis, CEO of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), said: “We know that using evidence to inform teaching can help schools spend their money more effectively and make a real difference to attainment. This is particularly important at a time when the disadvantage gap is likely to have widened despite the work of schools to respond to the disruptions created by the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Our new partnership with Kent County Council will allow local schools to adopt programmes that have already been shown to get results. We hope that the fund will help to create a lasting legacy of evidence-based practice in schools across Kent.”
Notes to journalists:
A selection of the early adopting schools that successfully applied for matched funding in Round 1 are:
Great Chart Primary School
Swalecliffe Primary School
Hugh Christie Technology College
Knockhall Primary School
Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School
Whitfield Aspen School
Ightham Primary School
Snodland Church of England Primary School
Ashford St Mary’s Primary School
Selsted Church of England Primary School
St Nicholas School
St Peter-in-Thanet Church of England Junior School
Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School
Brook Community Primary School
St. Stephen’s Infant School
East Stour Primary School
St Crispin’s County Primary Infant School
St Botolph’s Church of England Primary School
Goudhurst & Kilndown Church of England Primary School
St Paul’s Church of England Primary School
Ospringe Church of England Primary School
Find out more about The Education Endowment Foundation here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/
Find out more about the EEFective Kent Project here: https://www.kelsi.org.uk/eefective-kent-project