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Key findings from EEF's three-year evaluation of school collaboration

Unleashing greatness: Learn from EEF's evaluation of Schools Partnership Programme

Discover insights from Education Endowment Foundation's three-year evaluation of Schools Partnership Programme. One of the largest school improvement evaluations in the UK, looking at the effectiveness and influence of partnership-based peer review.

About the evaluation

Between January 2018 and December 2021, Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) conducted an evaluation of Schools Partnership Programme involving a total of 422 primary schools.

This project is one of the largest research evaluations on the effectiveness of peer review and collaboration on school partnerships, leaders, staff and pupils.

The report has now been released by EEF and is available for download.

EEF's evaluation report

"Where it's been extremely beneficial for us, is that it's given us have professional dialogue about our own schools, to be supportive and coach each other throughout the process. To self-reflect on our own practice and, not only look at where we can go forward with our schools, but also celebrate the real strengths that we already have."

Mary Fraser, Headteacher - Cherry Tree Primary School, Bolton

An interview with Dr David Godfrey

University College London’s (UCL) Dr David Godfrey served as lead evaluator and report writer for the Education Endowment Foundation’s 3-year funded trial of Schools Partnership Programme. In this interview, David describes how the report shone a light on how the SPP model and principles proved to be a solid foundation for more structured working, even throughout the Covid pandemic. He shares the key features of this programme, as well as the range of ways it supports powerful professional development. He also provides some exciting potential applications for peer review on a wider scale. 

Watch his full interview with SPP Associate Maggie Farrar. 

If you’d like to find out more about peer review and how it can help you achieve your school improvement goals, get in touch or sign up to attend an Introduction to SPP session where you’ll learn more about our unique programme. 

What schools said about participating in SPP

To celebrate the completion of the EEF evaluation, we hosted a series of events where schools and experts shared successes, challenges and reflections of their experience of Schools Partnership Programme.  

Below are videos from your colleagues across the country as they share their journey demonstrating how SPP continues to shape continuous improvement of teaching and learning.

Based in Kingston upon Thames, Headteacher Pip Utting found huge benefit from:

  • having review meetings appear as regular fixtures in the school's diary
  • having a key staff member as a driving force behind their school improvement efforts
  • encouraging teacher agency among her school's subject leaders.

Watch Pip's video to find out more.

Headteacher Ian Waine describes how focusing on one theme across all schools and utilising the expertise of subject leaders across the partnership proved mutually beneficial.

Watch Ian's video to find out more.

Suzie Hall, Headteacher of Hextable Primary School in Kent, tells us how SPP has:

  • effectively fed into her partnership's improvement plans
  • provided brilliant professional development
  • become their natural way of working.

Watch Suzie's video to find out more.

Warrington-based Headteacher Chris Short talks about how the SPP model has:

  • allowed for the adaptability needed to benefit schools in different times and different contexts
  • helped his partnership get to know their colleagues
  • made the best use of middle leaders, forging stronger connections between his network of schools.

Watch Chris' video to find out more.

Thank you to all the schools who took part in the EEF evalution of the SPP model. We appreciate all your support and contribution toward this valuable research evaluation. 

"By going through this process, we've really developed and matured our relationships as schools but also as senior leaders."

Iain Witts, Headteacher - Kingsnorth and Brenzett C of E Primary Schools

We strongly believe in schools owning their changes: evidence confirms that schools improve rapidly and more effectively from the moment they start implementing the principles of SPP. 

Find out how SPP could benefit your setting.  

Contact us