Achievement for All: evaluation report

Author(s): Humphrey, Neil; Squires, Garry; Choudry, Sophina; Byrne, Elizabeth; Demkowicz, Ola; Troncoso, Patricio; Wo, Lawrence

Organisation(s): Education Endowment Foundation; University of Manchester (UK)

Date: 2020

Pages: 140 p.


Achievement for All (AfA) is a whole-school improvement programme that aims to improve the academic and social outcomes of pupils, developed by the national charity AfA 3As. In this trial, the programme primarily aimed to improve Key Stage 2 reading attainment while the trial also examined its impact on KS2 mathematics, pupil attendance, and pupil resilience-related outcomes. The trial cohort comprised all children who began the trial in Years 4 and 5 (ages 8–10). A particular focus was placed on a target group of children selected by each school within these year groups. Schools were advised to select target children whose attainment placed them in the lowest 20%, while they could also include pupils whom they deemed to be vulnerable to underachievement. The intervention ran for five terms. At the start of the programme, each school designated a member of staff to become an AfA champion. They then met with a trained AfA coach to assess the needs of the school and devised a bespoke action plan. This plan was then used to inform monthly coaching and training sessions delivered by the AfA coach to relevant members of school staff; schools also had access to AfA’s online learning platform. AfA is a flexible programme that is expected to be tailored to the needs of each school. However, the training that each school receives draws from four key areas: ‘leadership for inclusion', ‘teaching and learning’, ‘wider outcomes and opportunities’, and ‘engaging with parents and carers’. The project was a two-armed randomised controlled trial; 134 schools from across England participated, with 66 schools in the intervention group and 68 schools in the control group. The process evaluation included surveys, informal observations, and interviews, and a particular focus on eight case study schools. This report details the impact that the programme had on the first cohort of pupils who were in Year 5 at the outset of the trial in 2016/2017 and received the programme for five terms. The results from a second cohort, who began the trial in Year 4, will be examined in a future addendum report.

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