Collaborative Partner

The Bell Foundation and Education Endowment Foundation

Funding collaboration to improve attainment for learners using English as an Additional Language

Unbound Philanthropy partners with The Bell Foundation and the Education Endowment Foundation to build systemic capacity within the education system to address the needs of learners using English as an Additional Language (EAL), supporting education research and interventions. There are over 1.5 million pupils using EAL in the UK (21.2% of primary school students and 16.9% of secondary school students), and this number has doubled over the last ten years. Evidence shows that educational outcomes of learners using EAL vary significantly according to proficiency in English, first language, and time of arrival into the English school system amongst other factors.

This collaboration was formed in 2015, after The Bell Foundation, the Education Endowment Foundation, and Unbound jointly funded two major research pieces: an analysis of the National Pupil Database (Prof. Steve Strand), and a systematic review of intervention research examining English language and literacy development in EAL pupils (Prof. Victoria Murphy).

Following these reports, these funders announced a £2m grant-funding round for three randomised controlled trials to support interventions to improve the achievement of EAL pupils most at risk of poor academic outcomes.

Over the last five years, Unbound has partnered with The Bell Foundation, who lead efforts to improve provision for learners using English as an Additional Language through the EAL Programme which includes school leadership, teacher training, learner assessment, research and the production of materials.

This collaboration advances Unbound’s Strengthen Belonging strategy area, to increase participation and attainment of all vulnerable learners in the state education system, with particular focus on refugee children and those with low levels of English language proficiency.

Year Founded



The Bell Foundation and the Education Endowment Foundation

Cutting-edge randomised controlled trials to improve the educational attainment of learners using EAL


EAL learners in the UK

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