Meta-evaluation of the London Schools' Excellence Fund

Client: Greater London Authority

In July 2014, SQW was awarded a contract by the GLA to carry out an evaluation of all of the projects and activities funded under the London Schools' Excellence Fund (LSEF). The LSEF was a major element of the Mayor's Education Programme, an initiative that was established following the Mayor's Education Inquiry in 2011-12. The LSEF (amounting to a total of just over £24 million, with £20 million of that coming from the Department for Education) was disbursed over three funding rounds, to a total of 110 projects.

The objectives of the evaluation were to establish the main messages and learning from the Mayor's Education Programme. The evaluation consisted of two strands:

  1. Firstly, a meta-evaluation which drew on the self-evaluation reports of 78 funded projects. The meta-evaluation was designed to interrogate the methodological integrity, process and reliability of the project evaluations and to bring together the body of robust project evidence (both qualitative and quantitative) to inform policy and practice.
  2. Secondly, a series of thematic studies which focused on exploratory discussions with a range of project staff and beneficiaries, primarily teachers. Five thematic case studies were undertaken to explore different aspects of the mode of operation, strategies and approaches adopted by projects to support delivery. These involved visits to 15 projects and 31 schools, incorporating interviews with 36 project staff, interviews with 121 practitioners and discussion groups with a total of 50 pupils.

The final reports can be downloaded here.