Dear colleague,

At the outset, we were excited to be able to work with EEF on a trial that we were confident would validate and support the plethora of evidence from independent impact reports, pupil-level data from over 5000 education settings, school leader attestations, and case studies that have endorsed the effectiveness of Achievement for All programmes and practice over the past decade.  In practice, targeted AfA vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils in the trial schools achieved above national expectations which was our key aim in the intervention.

In hindsight it was an error to agree to a trial that attempted to evaluate the effectiveness of our broad and yet bespoke approach through the narrow lens of two school improvement parameters within two consecutive primary year groups (Years 4 and 5).

We have confidence in EEF, its mission, its purpose, and its attempts to develop a comprehensive bank of evidence-based approaches to closing the gap. We deliver programmes that are bespoke to all schools depending on their needs at the time.  Bespoke, as there is not one programme but a central methodology that is constantly adjusting to schools’ particular circumstances. During the trial, leadership was a priority for many of these schools, AfA coaches supported this. Also, parental engagement, key to improving outcomes for vulnerable learners was evident, hundreds of structured conversations took place on a termly basis.  70% of participating schools in the AfA intervention strand continued with the programme, which included very specific support to their circumstances. 

The EEF trial concluded two years ago.  As part of our continuous development of the AfA model, we have made changes to the Achieving Schools programme, the Bubble and developed new programmes to support our schools and settings since the research. Achievement for All programmes remain evidence-informed, with robust external and internal evaluation reports compiled 2012 – 2020.  https://afaeducation.org/our-impact/impact-reports/impact-reports/

We continue with drive, determination, passion and commitment to do what we do best: supporting education settings to transform academic and life outcomes for every vulnerable and disadvantaged child, regardless of the barriers to learning that have to be overcome.

Thank you for your engagement with Achievement for All.

Sonia Blandford

Founder and CEO – Achievement for All

 “The AfA Programme has had a positive impact on the whole school.  It has been very well led by a very engaging coach who has helped the SLT.   Their leadership and enthusiasm have cascaded down to all staff and being able to discuss the importance of the fact that every child matters means that this ethos has become part of the fabric of the school, which as a parent is plain to see”. (Parent Governor- AFA target group)

AFA has provided the platform to accelerate our work with those children currently working towards age-expected through the AFA initiatives, support of the AFA coach and hard work all our staff we have reduced the percentage of our working towards age-expected in two terms. This is an astonishing achievement that is changing the lives of our most vulnerable children (Headteacher)

This was not just ‘another add on which would be more work’ but was an amazing opportunity to review existing practice and reach more parents to benefit the children’s learning and wellbeing. Together I feel we have made a real difference to some of our most vulnerable pupils. ( Head teacher)

 https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/projects-and-evaluation/projects/achievement-for-all/