Adventure learning on character development and attainment…

Schools wanted for EEF Research


This is your opportunity to take part in important research and contribute to supporting schools to help make the best choices on interventions and improve the life chances of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In autumn term 2019, 2,376 Year 9 students from 99 secondary schools across England will take part in a trial to assess the impact of an adventure learning experience on character development and attainment.

The research programme will be led by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and independently evaluated by a team of researchers from Sheffield Hallam University (SHU).

The Outward Bound Trust and Commando Joe's have been specially selected as the delivery partners for this research trial.


This is for secondary schools in England with a minimum of 20% of pupils eligible for pupil premium. Participants need to be current Year 8 students who are achieving below their expected levels of progress because of lack of engagement with education and/or lack of character skills to support learning.

At least 50% of the students selected should be recognised as disadvantaged, either in receipt of pupil premium or through economic, social or environmental issues known to the school. The programme is especially suitable for students with the greatest scope for improvement based on their current attainment levels versus their predicted actual attainment ability, regardless of their starting point.

Teachers involved should be experienced and in regular contact with the cohort. They should be able to hold the students to account as well as motivate and encourage them. This would particularly suit a middle leader who would like to support a whole school initiative working with external providers to raise levels of progress. They should be open to new ideas and willing to track and monitor students.


The research trial is 70% funded by the EEF, The Outward Bound Trust and Commando Joe's. If selected to participate in the intervention groups, a 30% contribution will need to be paid by the school. If selected into the control group, schools will receive funding per student to put towards their development.


  1. Register your interest by filling in the form on this page.
  2. A representative will get in touch with you to confirm your eligibility and answer any questions.
  3. We will confirm your place and send you all the relevant information.
  4. The research trial will begin.

Sorry, applications for this trial have closed.

However, if you would still like to talk to us about how Outward Bound can help your school, fill in this form and we'll be in touch.

Further information

Find out more about the research or share with your colleagues.

The project team
Education Endowment Foundation

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) was founded in 2011 by The Sutton Trust, as lead charity in partnership with Impetus-PEF, with a £125m grant from the Department for Education.

The EEF is an independent charity which aims to raise the attainment of 3-18 year-olds, particularly those facing disadvantage; develop their essential life skills; and prepare young people for the world of work and further study.

It does this by generating evidence of what works to improve teaching and learning, funding robust trials of high-potential programmes and approaches which have yet to be tested. The EEF then supports schools, nurseries and colleges across the country in using evidence so that it has the maximum possible benefit for young people.

The Outward Bound Trust

The Outward Bound Trust is an educational charity with a mission to stop self-doubt, remove limitations - whether real or perceived, and end the fear of failure in young people. We help teach young people the most important lesson they could ever learn: to believe in themselves. It’s the super power that transforms their behaviour throughout school, higher education, work, and beyond.

Commando Joes

Commando Joe’s is one of the UK’s leading educational providers, utilising the expertise of former services personnel to improve the educational outcomes for pupils through using the core values associated with military ethos such as self-discipline, confidence and teamwork. Our school programmes are well established and allow young people to develop life skills, character traits, attributes and behaviours, which have a positive impact on their educational attainment, engagement, employability and well-being.

Independent Evaluator: Sheffield Hallam University

The independent researchers at Sheffield Hallam University have a strong combination of research and practical experience that is relevant to this evaluation, including experience in large scale mixed-methods evaluations as well as secondary school teaching and youth work.