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Evaluation of English Mastery

Evaluation of English Mastery

We are evaluating English Mastery, a programme that aims to improve student progress in English, to understand if it makes a difference to Year 7 and 8 students.

What is English Mastery?

English Mastery is a knowledge-rich English Curriculum developed and led by a panel of education experts and English specialists. You can find out more about English Mastery here.

NatCen are conducting an independent evaluation of English Mastery to find out the impact of the programme on Year 7 and Year 8 students.

Why evaluate the intervention?

A recent pilot evaluation of 14 schools indicated that English Mastery can improve student’s progress by approximately 4 months. We are now seeking to evaluate English Mastery on a larger scale. NatCen are conducting an independent evaluation which will find out what impact English Mastery has on student’s progress in English.

We also want to know what enables or hinders the successful delivery of English Mastery, as well as teachers’ experience of implementing the programme.

Comparing an intervention group to a control group allows the study to provide robust evidence on the impact of the programme on student’s progress in English. By participating, your school will be making a valuable contribution to building evidence for what works in English education.

The trial is being funded by the Education Endowment Foundation.

What does the evaluation involve?

A total of 110 schools will be invited to take part in the evaluation. Schools will be randomly assigned to an intervention group that delivers English Mastery or a control group that does not deliver the programme and continues with current practices in English teaching.

Intervention Group

We will work with your Year 7 teachers in the academic year 2019 – 20 and will continue working with the same cohort into Year 8 in academic year 2020 – 21. The English Mastery curriculum will be delivered to students during their scheduled English lessons. Teachers will be trained on the curriculum in June 2019 ahead of the September start. Schools in this group have the opportunity to access English Mastery at a significantly reduced subscription fee in both Year 1 and Year 2 of the trial, saving 60% of the annual fee.

Control Group

Schools in the control group will not receive the programme and are essential to understanding the impact of the intervention. Control schools will receive £500 at the beginning of the second academic year (Year 8) and a further £1,000 for facilitating pupil testing and ensuring all data requirements have been met by summer 2021.

Essential information

Download the timetable for a step-by-step guide to what taking part involves here.

Get in touch

If you would like further information about the trial, please email the NatCen team on or call our research team on 0207 549 7176.