Evidence for the Frontline (E4F) is a support service for schools. Staff submit questions and are given advice by a researcher, matched with evidence resources, or put in touch with another school with relevant experience to help them to answer that question.
Recent research has shown that simply providing access to research literature is no guarantee that it will be used effectively to improve teaching practice. Instead, having the opportunity to discuss research helps practitioners gain a deeper understanding and sense of ownership of the findings, and in doing so, enables evidence to be integrated more effectively in professional settings.
The aim of the E4F project is to act as an independent and authoritative broker of research information, and by supporting interactions between schools and researchers (sometimes termed ‘matchmaking’).
The project is being funded by the charity the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), and was originally developed by CEBE, the Coalition for Evidence-based Education. The service is based at Sandringham School in St Albans, and the other partners involved include the Institute for Effective Education (IEE) at the University of York, and the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) who are the independent evaluators.
A development phase took place from May to September 2015, with 11 schools collaborating with Sandringham School and the IEE to shape the scheme as a whole. The current trial began in September 2015 with 20 additional schools joining the project. It ran until July 2016, and an evaluation of the trial can be found on the EEF's website.