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New fund to help raise attainment of disadvantaged children

Nominet Trust and the Education Endowment Fund announce a new partnership to co-fund projects focusing on the use of digital technology in raising the attainment of disadvantaged children

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and Nominet Trust have today announced that they will be partnering together in a new funding round focusing on innovative, evidence-based ways to use digital technology to help raise the attainment of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The two grant-making charities will be inviting applications from any not-for-profit organisation – schools, charities, universities, social enterprises, local authorities – which focus on the use of digital technology to improve teaching and learning outcomes. This will form the major part of the EEF’s current funding round, which closes in April 2013.

The EEF’s chairman Sir Peter Lampl comments: “Hundreds of millions of pounds are spent every year on computers in schools and the accompanying software. Yet we know relatively little about its real impact. Digital technology is now a mainstay in the workplace, but its impact is as yet unproven in the classroom. We need to know how – and whether – IT can really make a difference to results, especially for the poorest pupils. I’m delighted that Nominet Trust will be working with the EEF so we can learn more about using technology to improve teaching and learning.”

Dan Sutch, Head of Development Research at Nominet Trust, comments: “The use of digital technologies has transformed many aspects of life – business, communication, entertainment – yet the impact of digital technologies on formal education is still limited. With this fund we’re able to support the rigorous evaluation of technology-enabled practices, understanding where digital technology can be best used to support young people’s learning. We hope that this fund will provide evidence into effective uses of digital technology that can be shared to support teachers and schools further. It’s great to be working with EEF’s rigorous approach to evaluation to address a significant gap in understanding the wide-scale benefits of the use of technology in education.”

EEF Chief Executive Kevan Collins added: “We know from the international evidence summarised in the Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching & Learning Toolkit that technology is associated with moderate learning gains for pupils. However, the Toolkit also shows there are considerable variations in impact. We will be looking to fund practical, scaleable ideas that stand a good chance of making a real difference to the learning outcomes of pupils and rigorously evaluating how effective they are at closing the significant attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers which exists in England.”

Full details of how to apply, together with guidance for those thinking of applying, is available on the Education Endowment Foundation’s website.  Alternatively, please send any enquiries or expressions of interest to Dan Sutch, Head of Development Research at Nominet Trust by emailing developmentresearch@nominettrust.org.uk