Press release

National Centre for Social Research to lead the evaluation of three educational programmes

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) will be carrying out three new and important evaluations.
  • Publishing date:
    28 February 2024

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) will be carrying out three new and important evaluations, to understand the impact of high potential educational programmes on children and young people’s outcomes. NatCen’s Centre for Children and Families, and Centre for Evaluation have been commissioned and funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to conduct research into Emotion Coaching, Focus4Taps and Mastering Mathematics.

  • Emotion Coaching (EC) is a relational approach which fosters teachers’ and other members of staff’s warm and responsive relationships with children through self-regulation and co-regulation. The intervention will be delivered in early years settings (school-based and those in the private, voluntary and independent (PVI) sector) and will involve 3-4 staff members per setting taking part in training from ECUK.
  • Focus4Taps is a teacher CPD programme aimed at Year 5 teachers (of children aged 9-10). Focus4TAPS aims to build primary teachers’ confidence in teaching science and gives them a way to embed effective formative assessment into lessons. The programme is centred on Working Scientifically in the National Curriculum. NatCen’s effectiveness trial will build on the existing strong evidence base of the intervention’s positive impact on pupils’ science learning.
  • Mastering Mathematics is a professional development programme which intends to support teachers in further education colleges to implement the ‘Teaching for Mastery’ approach in their maths teaching; prioritising content areas identified by the sector as most impactful for shifting students towards a GCSE Grade 4. NatCen will conduct an effectiveness trial with the primary aim to understand how effective Mastering Mathematics is at improving students overall GCSE resit performance. 

Gayle Munro, Director of NatCen’s Centre for Children and Families said: “We are delighted to be working with the Education Endowment Foundation, building on the evidence base of education research. NatCen has a strong track record of delivering rigorous evaluation research of a variety of programmes designed for children and young people. These research studies are extremely valuable, addressing key challenges for those in the education system and providing evidence-led evaluations on programme impact on children and young people’s long-term outcomes.”

Emily Yeomans, Director of Research at the Education Endowment Foundation, added: “It’s so important that teachers and school leaders can make informed decisions about the approaches they put in place to improve practice, and boost pupil outcomes.

“We are excited to be working with NatCen on these new research projects, which will build up the evidence of what works in key areas of teaching and learning – and hopefully, offer educators strong options to consider when making changes to their provision.”

For more information please contact:

Emileigh Spurdens, Communications Manager
t:020 7549 8506 e:

Notes to editors: 

  • The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), Britain’s largest independent social research organisation, aims to make life better through high quality social research (