DfE Accelerator Fund for EFA

We are delighted to announce that due to funding from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), through the DfE’s Accelerator Fund, we are able to offer a limited number of schools with a secondary phase based in the Regional Schools Commissioners (RSC) regions of the North of England, East Midlands and the Humber, and West Midlands funding for the fully supported Embedding Formative Assessment (EFA) programme.

Free Webinar – 23 June 2022

Join this free webinar to learn more about SSAT’s Embedding Formative Assessment programme. Senior Education Lead, Corinne Settle will explain how the programme is implemented and the impact the programme can have in your school.
Find out more

Criteria for Schools

  1. Schools with a secondary phase based in the Regional Schools Commissioner regions of the North of England, East Midlands and the Humber, and West Midlands.
  2. Schools will not be eligible for funding if they are also taking part in the following EEF trials:
    • 1st Class @ Number
    • Reciprocal Reading
    • Switch on Reading
  3. Schools must contribute a nominal fee of £1,589.70 + VAT(see FAQ on VAT) at the start of the programme as part of their commitment and investment in the two-year programme.

Formative assessment: the most cost effective way to improve education

Dylan Wiliam, emeritus professor of educational assessment at UCL, explains the evidence for the cost-effectiveness of formative assessment.

Free Download

The programme

Built on over twenty-five years of research by Dylan Wiliam and Siobhan Leahy the EFA programme content focuses on teachers improving their formative assessment practice through long-term habit change. It is a fully supported and resourced two-year programme that provides everything you need to successfully run a programme of Teacher Learning Communities.

Teachers will meet in groups of 8-14 with TLC meetings calendared approximately every 4 weeks, 9 meetings per year. Meetings last a minimum of 75 minutes and are facilitated by a TLC leader. TLC leaders would be selected from the staff and not expected to be formative assessment experts.

You can read more about the programme here.

The school will be supported by an expert EFA mentor who will provide tailored support, training and coaching around the effective implementation to ensure the school maximises the impact of the programme and it becomes a sustainable feature of the school.

This support will include:

  • Practical planning support for readiness
  • An initial day’s training in-school or online for school leaders and teachers leading the TLC meetings
  • Regular email/telephone contact with mentor with key reflection and planning points
  • Two face to face visits at the end of year one and two to review the programme and plan the next steps in implementation
  • A wide breadth of supporting resources, exemplars and case studies which can be used to support and maximise the impact of the programme.

Your commitment is to:

  • Commit to the programme for two-years with an understanding that teacher habit change takes time.
  • Free up time and resources to implement the programme with fidelity.
  • Treat implementation of the programme as a process, planning and executing it in stages working with your mentor.

How to Apply

Step 1

Please read and consider the following information carefully:
EFA programme summary
EFA programme FAQs

Step 2

Complete the application form by 11 July 2022

Step 3

You will receive a link via email to book an interview to approve your application

Step 4

Following successful interview, your commitment will be confirmed by signing MOU and paying fee

Any Questions

If you have any further questions, or would like to discuss the programme, please contact us.
Contact us

Visit an EFA Ambassador School

We are delighted to offer you the opportunity of visiting an EFA Ambassador School to see the impact that the Embedding Formative Assessment programme is having on their school. These open days will allow you to hear from the school’s leadership team, teachers and students to gain a better understanding of how the programme works, how it has benefitted the whole school, and get answers to any questions you have about the programme.

The following open days are free to attend:

Ricards Lodge High School
14 June 2022

Book now

Hunter’s Bar Junior School
21 June 2022

Book now

Uppingham Community College
29 June 2022

Book now

Wirral Grammar School for Boys
5 July 2022

Book now

Finham Park School
8 July 2022

Book now


EFA – Embedding Formative Assessment
EFA resource/pack – the digital resources for the programme i.e. handbook, agendas, worksheets and recordings
TLC – Teacher Learning Community, the workshop groups teachers are placed in
TLC Leader – the selected teacher(s) who facilitate the workshops
EFA School Lead – the school leader who is responsible for the strategic implementation of the programme

Frequently Asked Questions

How is VAT calculated?

Cost Excl VATVATCost incl VAT
EFA Programme£5299.00£1059.80£6358.80
EEF Funding£(3709.30)-£(3709.30)
Net Price£1589.70£1059.80£2649.50

The school is liable for the full VAT of £1,059.80. If registered for VAT this will be reclaimable through the normal VAT process for a net cost of £1,589.70


What is the research evidence for the impact of the programme?

An Education Endowment Foundation randomised control trial with 25,000 pupils in 140 schools across England found:

  • learners made the equivalent of two months’ additional progress in their Attainment 8 GCSE score
  • learners in the lowest third for prior attainment made more progress than their classmates in the top third
  • teachers felt the Teacher Learning Communities (TLCs) improved their practice by allowing valuable dialogue between teachers and encouraged experimentation with formative assessment strategies.

What is the time commitment for the programme?

The programme lasts two years from your starting point. In each year there will be 9 workshops. 75 minutes must be allowed for each workshop. Time must be planned between workshops to enable teachers to work collaboratively and give feedback on techniques observed in lessons.


Why is the programme two years?

Teacher change takes time. The programme focuses on teachers being given choice, flexibility, small steps, accountability and support to effect long-term habit change. Initially, schools reported an increased prevalence of formative assessment techniques and improved student engagement, but effectiveness and impact on student outcomes is a longer term goal. One year, simply isn’t enough.


Who needs to be involved?

This is a whole school programme. Where possible, all teachers should be a member of a TLC.


What topic areas that will be covered over the two years in the TLCs?

Over the two years, Dylan Wiliams’ five strategies for formative assessment will be covered. These include:


What support and training is provided?

Each school will have an expert EFA mentor who will work with you for two years. This support includes:

  • Practical planning support for readiness
  • An initial day’s training in-school or online for school leaders and pre-selected TLC Leaders. Note, this is not an all staff training day
  • Regular email/telephone contact with your mentor with key reflection and planning points
  • Two face to face visits at the end of year one and two to review the programme and plan the next steps in implementation
  • A wide breadth of additional supporting resources, exemplars and case studies which can be used to support and maximise the impact of the programme.

When do we need to start the programme?

Initial conversations with your EFA mentor can start immediately after the Easter break. We would recommend that the initial training takes place in the summer term or in the first half of the autumn term 2022. You are then fully equipped to launch the programme with your staff in the Autumn term.


How many teachers should be in each TLC?

We would advise a group size of around 10, groups may need to be as low as 8 or as high as 14 depending on school circumstances.


Will all TLCs in a school work on the same topic at the same time?

Yes, it is integral to the success of the programme that they follow the agendas provided. Some adaptations may be made, but these must be discussed with your EFA mentor to prevent lethal mutations of the programme. However, teachers have choice as to what formative assessment technique they wish to work on in their own classrooms to develop their practice.


How should I choose my TLC workshop leaders?

TLC Leaders should be voluntary and ideally not members of the senior leadership team. Their role is to facilitate the sessions. They are not expected to be experts in formative assessment and may be at any point in their career. They will lead and participate in all of the TLC activities.


Can the materials/agendas be changed?

Through the EEF research trial we have identified where minor adaptations to the programme can be made to ensure that messages shared are aligned with school policies, practice and ethos. Your EFA mentors will be able to give detailed guidance on this.


What monitoring will be required both internally and externally?

Internal monitoring and evaluation of the programme will be supported by your EFA mentor and is an essential element of the implementation of the programme. This would form part of your usual monitoring of T&L. The resource contains pro-formas for peer observations and learning walks. Externally, the evaluation team may ask you to complete student/teacher surveys or also be part of group interviews. These will be done at a time convenient to you.


What about part time staff?

This will always be a challenge in schools. Where possible, all staff should attend all meetings. However, this isn’t always possible so consider giving staff who can’t attend sessions a ‘buddy’ from the group that can support them in sharing discussions and learning.


What if a TLC Leader is absent for one or more of the workshops?

This will happen over the course of the programme. We recommend that every TLC group has two TLC Leaders, either as co-leaders, or with a deputy lead.


What is the difference between formative assessment strategies and techniques?

The five key strategies of formative assessment are identified in the table above. The techniques that can be used to enact these strategies in the classroom are, for example; no hands up, exit tickets etc.


Can I apply on behalf of my Trust?

Yes, however you will need to complete one application form per eligible school within your Trust. Each school application will be classed as one place on the programme. You can then book one application interview and ask the Heads of School to join if you wish. Once each programme place is confirmed, we are able to invoice the Trust for all your schools if this is preferable.


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