Case Study

Strategic School Improvement Fund- Research and Learning Study

Client: Department of Education | Sectors: Social Policy

We have been commissioned, alongside the UCL Institute of Education, to independently evaluate the effectiveness of the Strategic School Improvement Fund (SSIF). 

The fund was launched in April 2017 as the Government’s flagship programme aimed at targeting resources to the schools that are considered to be most in need of improvement. The Ofsted inspection data from early 2017 found that 1955 of 20,946 schools in England were evaluated as ‘inadequate’, with a strong correlation existing between schools that did not pass their inspection, and high deprivation rate in their pupils. 

The project aims to assess the effectiveness and value for money of the overall SSIF, the individual improvement activities funded through the SSIF, and the SSIF emergency applications. 

The project will involve a mixed methods approach to research, including surveys of school leaders, analysis of administrative data about the school and teacher workforce, as well as in-depth case studies of local SSIF programmes. 

The project will conclude in June 2022 with a final evaluation report makes recommendations for how learning from the study can best be applied in the future, and in the most cost effective way. 

As well as a final report, we will host thematic workshops for local partners and school leaders in order to reflect on what has been learnt from the study as well as providing an opportunity to exchange examples of good practice. 

Additionally, we will work closely with the Education Endowment Foundation to explore the potential for scaling-up and replicating SSIF funded interventions and activities. 

The evaluation has the potential to have a significant impact on the wider school experience, both for students and staff. By identifying what works best about the SSIF, and making recommendations for how it can be improved in the future, the fund can be further developed to provide more support for under-performing schools in a potentially more effective way. 

Key Experts

Shona MacLeod Associate Director