The Education Endowment Foundation was founded in 2011 by lead charity The Sutton Trust, in partnership with Impetus Trust (now part of Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation), with a £125m grant from the Department for Education.
The EEF was initiated in November 2010, when the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, announced plans to establish an education endowment foundation intended to help raise standards in challenging schools, inspired by the Obama administration’s Race to the Top initiative in the USA.
In April 2011, the Department for Education announced it had appointed the Sutton Trust as lead charity in partnership with the Impetus Trust, to set-up and govern the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). They were selected following an open competition which attracted interest from 14 organisations. The EEF is an independent charity and its Board of Trustees ‑ four of whom are nominated by the Sutton Trust and three by Impetus Trust ‑ have discretion as to how the organisation meets its charitable objects.
The EEF was formally launched in July 2011, with Chairman Sir Peter Lampl declaring its aim would be to ‘develop initiatives to raise the attainment of the poorest pupils in the most challenging schools’. Dr Kevan Collins was appointed the EEF’s first Chief Executive. That autumn, the EEF announced its first four launch grants.
In March 2013, the EEF and Sutton Trust were jointly designated by the Government as the What Works centre for improving education outcomes for school-aged children. We joined the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as pre-existing centres, with a further four centres announced. The What Works centres will summarise and share research with local decision-makers, helping them to invest in services that deliver the best outcomes for citizens and value-for-money for taxpayers. In the EEF’s case, decision-makers include teachers and school-leaders, parents and governors, researchers and policy-makers.