EAL in the Mainstream Classroom

"There is a need to increase the evidence base of effective interventions for EAL pupils in the UK at risk of low attainment." Education Endowment Foundation

What is the EAL in the Mainstream Classroom Project?

The EAL in the Mainstream Classroom is a pilot project funded by the Education Endowment Foundation, The Bell Foundation and Unbound Philanthropy, and delivered by Challenge Partners, in partnership with Hounslow Language Service and Lampton School.

The project aims to support EAL pupils in the mainstream classroom. It is designed to build expertise and capacity among classroom teachers so they can provide the best teaching and learning for EAL pupils, so reducing the need for specialist support.

At the core of approach is a focus on academic language, and the training would support classroom teachers’ use and understanding of grammar, core vocabulary, and spoken language, which are key to helping EAL pupils within a whole class context, and which are also likely to have benefits for children more broadly.

Involvement in this evaluation project will provide half of the participating schools with funded, high quality, accredited training that aims to fundamentally transform the approach of classroom teachers to literacy across the curriculum.

The Univeristy of York will conduct a Randomised Control Trial with 120 Evaluation Schools over the course of the programme to assess the impact and effectiveness of the training on pupils. The preparation phase is 2016-17 (training of Delivery Centres), the Evaluation School training phase is 2017-2019 and Impact Evaluation phase will continue until 2020, with the evaluation team due to publish their findings in 2021. 

Who is it for?

The pilot programme is initially targeting secondary schools in England, mainly in regions with a high percentage of EAL students. After the evaluation phase in 2017-2019, the aim is to take the programme to all schools in England.

The project will be delivered by 12 Delivery Centres. These centres have been trained in 2016/17 by Hounslow Language Service specialists. For the second Impact Evaluation year in 2018/2019 we are looking for a further 50 evaluation schools to take part in the Randomised Control Trial and work with the University of York to gather evidence for the evaluation.

How will impact be measured?

The pilot project aims to collect evidence of effectiveness of the new training and impact on Y10 EAL students and teachers’ pedagogy (History and Science will be the subjects the evaluation will be focussing on), plus broader secondary outcomes and impact on all students. The University of York will gather evidence of impact through a Randomised Control Trial.

The evidence gathered will be extremely important to inform what the programme to be opened to all schools in England will need to look like in order to maximise impact on pupils’ learning and outcomes.

Where are the current Delivery Centres?

At present we have Delivery Centres in the following locations (Please note we are currently looking into the possibility of hosting the programme in tother locations): 



Apply now to join the pilot project

If you would like to become an evaluation school, please ensure you meet the following criteria:

  • You have at least 14 Y9 EAL pupils with KS2 data, studying Science and at least 8 studying History. (These pupils will be in Y10 in 2018/19.) There may be crossover between these groups.

  • You can release two KS4 History and two KS4 Science teachers who will teach these pupils (14 across the two) in Y10 in 2018/19..


  • You can release at least one KS4 History and at least one KS4 Science teacher who teach at least these 8 History and 14 Science pupils.

  • These teachers can commit to attending  3 days of training and complete all pre and post workshop tasks between Sept 2018- July 2019.



For more information about the programme, and to see FAQs, click here. To see the fantastic feedback from previous programme delegates, click here.

Apply to become an Evaluation School

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about the project and the Delivery Centres in your area, please get in touch with us by calling 0207 803 4973 or by emailing eal@challengepartners.org