Projects & Funding

We currently have a number of funding opportunities open for application.

Open Funding Round:
Seeking outlines of programmes and interventions that focus on improving outcomes for children and families who have or have had a social worker.

What Works for Children’s Social Care is pleased to launch its first general funding round, and is seeking proposals for interventions and programmes that focus on improving outcomes for children and families who have or have had a social worker.

This funding intends to support the implementation of sector-led innovation in children’s social care settings, and aims to understand the impact of the chosen programmes by means of a robust evaluation.

This will be a two-stage application process: At this stage, we are looking to invite organisations (including children’s social care teams, local authorities, charities, third sector organisations and SMEs) to submit an outline of their proposed programme or intervention.

We are most interested in applications for programmes that show early signs of promise, are scalable, and would be ready for rigorous evaluation. We anticipate appointing a first round of projects in September 2020, and would expect these projects to begin implementation by December 2020.

To submit your idea, please complete the outline application form below by Monday, July 13th 2020, 9am

If you have any further questions about this funding call or application, please feel free to email us at programmes@whatworks-csc.org.uk. We will aim to respond to your queries within 2 working days.

Attend our webinar at 3pm on Monday 6 July to ask questions and find out more.
Register to attend

Primary School Programmes: Our Skills & Affordable Maths Tuition – Seeking expressions of interest from virtual schools and individual primary schools

As part of a national evaluation to be conducted over the academic year 2020/21, WWCSC is funding places on two educational programmes Affordable Maths Tuition by Third Space Learning (Year 6) and Our Skills led by Learning Unlimited (Reception and KS1 Year 1), for children who have been considered to be Children in Need, subject to a Child Protection Plan, and/or Looked After in the past six years.

We are now seeking expressions of interest from Virtual Schools, local authorities – and now also individual primary schools –  with an interest in implementing one or both of these programmes in primary schools with the aim of understanding whether these work to increase the educational attainment of children who have had a social worker.

Background
This research builds on a report we released in February of this year which revisited 63 trials funded by the Education Endowment Foundation to determine what works in education for children who have had social workers. This research identified ten interventions which show signs of potential for children’s social care (CSC) experienced children, and which warrant further research. The first two we are hoping to evaluate are Affordable Maths Tuition (delivered by Third Space Learning) and Our Skills, an adaptation of Family Skills (delivered by Learning Unlimited).

Affordable Maths Tuition
Affordable Maths Tuition delivered by Third Space Learning are weekly online 1 – to – 1 maths lessons from specialist Key Stage 2 tutors. Each pupil receives their own dedicated tutor and learning is personalised to meet their needs, helping pupils not only to make progress, but grow in confidence too. Many schools and Virtual Schools use Affordable Maths Tuition to support children in receipt of Pupil Premium, helping to improve their educational outcomes.

Each pupil starts with an online diagnostic assessment to identify their individual knowledge gaps in key areas identified by their teacher. The results of this – alongside regular assessment throughout the term – help to automatically select the best sequence of lessons to plug these gaps for each pupil. This helps to reduce teacher workload while still providing a completely personalised learning journey for each pupil.

For more information about Affordable Maths Tuition, please see the information sheet.

Our Skills 2020/2021
The new roll-out of Our Skills (an adaptation of Family Skills), led by Learning Unlimited programme focuses on raising the achievement of children who have or have had a social worker. The programme will engage children in Early Years Foundation Stage Reception classes and Year 1 (Key Stage 1) along with their parents, guardians and/or carers. Through 10 weekly 2 – 2.5 hour sessions the programme will aim to strengthen family relationships and improve the literacy achievement of the target group pupils by working with the whole family.

Participating parents/guardians/carers will:

  • learn more about how children are taught to read in schools;
  • feel more confident about supporting children’s literacy development at home;
  • support the development of learning strategies;
  • feel more confident about supporting learning at home using a range of approaches and activities;
  • get more involved at their child’s primary school;
  • strengthen home-school partnerships.

For more information about Our Skills, please see the information sheet.

How will it be evaluated?
Previous research suggests that these programmes could be particularly effective for children who have or have had a social worker. To help us better understand whether this is indeed the case, WWCSC is conducting two rigorous large-scale evaluations. Up to two independent evaluators will be appointed to conduct this research and to evaluate both the programmes’ impact on pupils’ educational attainment.

We are adopting a randomised controlled approach (as was used in the original evaluation) because it provides the best possible evidence for a programme’s effectiveness. Alongside this, evaluators will conduct qualitative research, speaking with teachers, pupils, families and other key stakeholders to understand how it is (or isn’t) working for them and why.

Timelines
Set out below is the proposed project timeline, this is intended as a guide only.

Activities:Dates:
Opportunity disseminatedFriday 5th June 2020
Extended deadline to submit expression of interest by completing the form belowFriday 24th July 2020
More information provided and confirmation of sign-upAugust 2020
Eligible pupils identified and randomised by the evaluatorAugust – September 2020
Affordable Maths Tuition implementation period (three terms)September 2020 – July 2021
Our Skills implementation period (one term)January – April 2021

Eligibility criteria

  • All virtual schools, local authorities and individual schools in England are eligible to submit their expression of interest at this point.

Express your interest
Please answer all questions in the expression of interest (EOI) form below. The extended deadline for this is 11.59pm Friday 24th July 2020.

If you have any questions that have not been answered above, please email programmes@whatworks-csc.org.uk or huma.haque@whatworks-csc.org.uk.

Secondary School Programme: Words For All
Seeking expressions of interest from Virtual Schools and local authorities

As part of a national evaluation to be conducted over the 2020/21 academic year, What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) is funding places on a secondary educational programme, Words For All by Bolton Learning Partnership and Whole Education, for children and young people who are or have been considered to be Children in Need, subject to a Child Protection Plan, and/or Looked After in the past six years.

We are now seeking expressions of interest from Virtual Schools and local authorities with an interest in implementing this vocabulary enrichment programme in secondary schools with the aim of understanding whether it works to increase the educational attainment of children and young people who have or have had a social worker.

Background
This research builds on a report we released in February of this year which revisited 63 trials funded by the Education Endowment Foundation to determine what works in education for children who have had social workers. This research identified ten interventions which show signs of potential for children’s social care (CSC) experienced children, and which warrant further research. The first two are primary school programmes, Affordable Maths Tuition by Third Space Learning (Year 6) and Our Skills led by Learning Unlimited (Reception and KS1 Year 1), with the third being a secondary school programme, Words for All (KS3) delivered by  Bolton Learning Partnership and Whole Education.

Words for All
Words For All is a co-created collaborative programme designed by Bolton Learning Partnership and Whole Education. It builds on a successful pilot, which demonstrated significant impact in 100% of participating pilot schools.

The focus is on developing expertise within local schools to deliver high quality effective vocabulary and reading enrichment interventions that work in a local context to targeted and specific groups to improve their language skills and academic outcomes.  The programme will trial and scale strategies that work within the context of each school and meet the specific needs of students. Importantly, the programme is designed to support a culture of sustained peer learning and support within, and between, participating schools.

School leaders alongside key teaching and support staff are guided to pilot evidence informed strategies to improve the language acquisition of their students.  Schools will work with a chosen group of Key Stage 3 and 4 students who are or have been considered to be Children in Need, subject to a child protection plan, and/or Looked After.  Throughout the course of the year-long programme, colleagues will be trained by a range of leading experts (e.g. Alex Quigley, Closing the Vocabulary Gap and Reading Gap) in improving young people’s vocabulary and reading skills and receive regular high quality coaching and mentoring, as they work through their chosen impact projects.  New Group Reading Tests (NGRT) will be administered at three points in the year to benchmark, guide interventions  and evidence progress.  

For more information about Words for All, please read the information sheet.

How will it be evaluated?
Previous research suggests that this programme could be particularly effective for children who have or have had a social worker. To help us better understand whether this is indeed the case, WWCSC is conducting a rigorous large-scale evaluation. An independent evaluator will be appointed to conduct this research and to evaluate the programme’s impact on pupils’ educational attainment.

We will be adopting a randomised controlled approach as it provides the best possible evidence for a programme’s effectiveness. Alongside this, the evaluator will conduct qualitative research, speaking with teachers, pupils, families and other key stakeholders to understand how it is (or isn’t) working for them and why.

Timeline
Set out below is the proposed project timeline, this is intended as a guide only.

ActivityDate
Opportunity disseminatedFriday 3rd July 2020
Initial deadline to submit expression of interest by completing the form belowFriday 31st July 2020
More information provided & confirmation of participationMid August 2020
Eligible pupils identified and randomised by the evaluatorSeptember 2020
Implementation periodOctober 2020 – July 2021

Eligibility criteria

  • All Virtual Schools and local authorities in England are eligible to submit their expression of interest at this point.

Express your interest
Please answer all questions in the expression of interest (EOI) form below. The initial deadline for this is Friday 31st July 2020.

Expression of Interest - Words for All

Expression of Interest - Secondary school programme - Words for All - July 2020
  • This programme involves a randomised controlled trial (RCT) evaluation design. Participation in the evaluation involves:
    • Senior staff supporting the implementation of the programme and its evaluation
    • Identifying pupils who have had a social worker to participate
    • Complying with random assignment of pupils, to receive the programme, or not, as specified by the evaluator
    • Supporting the collection of data and/or access to existing administrative data, provided that appropriate data sharing procedures are put in place
    • Supporting qualitative components of the evaluation which may involve interviews, focus groups and surveys of relevant stakeholders
  • Please confirm that you have understood the expectations of the evaluation and that your participation in the evaluation is a requirement of the programme * Required
  • Please note that we will store and use the information you provide to contact you about your application. Details will be shared with the delivery partner for Words For All for the purposes of this project only (Bolton Learning Partnership and Whole Education). For more information on how we use and store data, please see our privacy policy.
  • Please confirm you have understood how WWCSC will use and store your data * Required

If you have any questions that have not been answered above, please email programmes@whatworks-csc.org.uk or huma.haque@whatworks-csc.org.uk

Supporting the education of children with a social worker:
Call for proposals for new school-based programmes

What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC) is seeking proposals from organisations for school-based programmes which aim to increase educational attainment for children with a social worker.

Proposals should outline the organisation’s idea for a school-based programme that will positively impact children with a social worker and vulnerable children more widely.

The programme:

  • Can be specifically designed and developed for children with a social worker
  • Can be an existing programme that has been tailored for children with a social worker
  • Can be an existing programme, that is able to provide evidence that it is beneficial for the educational attainment of children with a social worker
  • Can focus on particular age cohorts

We expect to fund the development and piloting of up to two new programmes, in collaboration with the Department for Education (DfE). Programmes will be implemented and piloted throughout the academic school year 2020/21 and evaluated by an independent evaluator appointed by WWCSC.

Deadline to submit proposal extended until 9.00am, Monday 13th July 2020

If you have any further questions about the project or the application, please email programmes@whatworks-csc.org.uk

Call for Evidence:
Practice and programmes to increase progression to higher education of young people who have been in care

What Works for Children’s Social Care and the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO) are running a joint call for evidence and practice on programmes which aim to increase the progression to, and success in, higher education, of young people who are, or have been, in care.

This follows the publication of our report, which shows that young people with care experience hold lower expectations of progressing to higher education, are less likely to attend, and that their expectations deteriorate over time more than their peers.

We are seeking higher education providers, local authorities, charities and other organisations to confidentially share information about the work that they are doing to support these individuals to access and succeed in higher education. We are particularly interested in evidence on the impact of this work. We are not necessarily asking for evidence of the best interventions or approaches, but examples of your strongest and most robust evidence, regardless of participant outcomes or methodology.

Evidence submitted will shared between WWCSC and TASO. We will use this evidence to help write a report, which we plan to publish later this year. No higher education providers, local authorities, charities or other organisations will be identified in any publication unless we receive written permission to do so. We may also ask your permission to refer to your evidence in a repository of best practice as part of our evidence toolkit.

To make a submission, please complete the form, hosted by TASO. If you have any questions, please email info@whatworks-csc.org.uk.