The Government have today announced a new £110 million Education Endowment Fund (EEF) to help raise standards in underperforming schools. The Government’s proposals draw on President Obama’s “Race to the Top” programme, launched in 2009.
The EEF will distribute money to local authorities. Academy sponsors, charities and other groups who bring forward innovative proposals to improve performance in our most challenging schools. Those bidding for funds from the EEF will have to outline how their proposals will raise attainment. Bidders must also demonstrate how they will be held accountable for the success of their proposals.
By inviting bids from those who wish to turn round our weakest schools the Government are building on the transformative potential of the new pupil premium. Our most challenging schools are concentrated in our areas of greatest deprivation. The pupil premium will result in more money being allocated to support the education of all our poorest children, adding £2.5 billion to school funding by the end of the CSR period. The EEF will allow many of the schools which educate our poorest children to do even more. And the innovative practice it encourages should drive improvement across the school system.
The EEF will be administered at arm’s length from Ministers. The team administering the fund will be appointed following an open competition.
Funding for projects will come from the returns on the EEF’s investment—plus capital draw-down from the total sum each year. The independent organisation that runs the EEF will also be expected to attract additional contributions from other organisations and philanthropists to add to the fund.
This fund is being established from the money set aside when the Government took the decision not to increase the number of free school meals. The establishment of the fund fulfils the Government’s pledge to use this money better to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.