EEF: School collaboration could close disadvantage gap

The ‘disadvantage gap’ – the gap in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their peers, could close by 38% if schools work together, a new report from the Education Endowment Foundation has claimed.

The research comes as the EEF re-launched its Families of Schools Database, which helps schools find and learn from other schools like them. The tool encourages collaboration between schools in an effort to close the disadvantage gap.

The database compares ‘families’ of schools based on factors such as the proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals, which will allow schools to work together and learn from the most successful school in their ‘family’.

At primary level the EEF has suggested making use of the tool could close the gap by up to 38%, while secondary schools collaborating could close the gap by 6%.

Professor Becky Francis has recently been appointed as Chief Executive of the EEF, after it was announced Sir Kevan Collins will be stepping down. This week the EEF also launched three new research trials aiming to support pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Collaboration is the cornerstone of School’s North East’s Ednorth programme, encouraging a shift in educational culture to evidence-based practices. Our Ednorth Advocates will be running a number of research projects looking at what works best in the classroom, as well as holding teachmeets with teachers from across the region to share the best in educational practice.

You can find out more about Ednorth and becoming an Advocate at

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