IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Learning About Culture

Evaluation of Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and Royal Society for the Arts (RSA)'s 'Learning About Culture' programme.

EEF and RSA are currently running a 'Learning About Culture' programme to answer the need for more robust evidence for how arts activities improve a range of pupil outcomes linked to raised attainment.

Randomised controlled trials

A team at UCL and the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) has been appointed by EEF as the independent evaluator for this programme. At the core of 'Learning About Culture' are five randomised controlled trials of school-based cultural learning interventions:

  1. The Power of Pictures - Centre for Literacy in Primary Education
  2. The Craft of Writing - Arvon, University of Exeter, Open University
  3. Young Journalist Academy - Paradigm Arts
  4. Speech Bubbles - London Bubble
  5. First Thing Music - Tees Valley Music Service

We have independently designed and are currently implementing these five trials (UCL are leading on the first three, and BIT on the final two) which all have as their primary outcome pupil attainment.

The trials include embedded mixed methods implementation and process evaluations, to help understand what actually happens in schools as a result of the implementation of the interventions.


The impact evaluation will be led by Jake Anders (Associate Professor and Deputy Director at CEPEO), along with Nikki Shure (Associate Professor), and the team at the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT).

The Implementation and Process Evaluation (IPE) will be led by the team at BIT and Dominic Wyse (Professor of Early Childhood and Primary Education at IOE).

The IPE will include cross-cutting aspects aiming to draw together lessons from across all five trials for the project as a whole.


These projects will report in the Summer 2021. This will include five project-specific reports, and an overarching report including lessons for schools, cultural learning organisations, evaluators, and research funders.