Stop and Think Evaluation

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have asked the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to evaluate Stop and Think.

About the study

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have asked the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to evaluate Stop and Think, a software programme that uses quizzes and games to help pupils learn counterintuitive concepts in science and maths.

Our evaluation will help the EEF and the developers of the programme (Birkbeck University) to assess how effective it is. We want to understand what impact the programme has to Year 3 and Year 5 pupils’ science and maths attainment and common misconceptions in these areas. We also want to understand how Stop and Think is delivered in schools and how well it works to run the programme with a large number of pupils.

Who is carrying out the research?

This research is being carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).

NatCen is the UK’s leading independent social research agency. We are proud to have been carrying out research on behalf of government, charities and other organisations for nearly 50 years. We conduct several studies in schools every year and are expert at research with pupils and teachers.

We are a non-profit organisation, independent of government departments and political parties.

What will taking part involve?


Delivery of the Stop and Think software will be randomised so that in each school either the Year 3 or Year 5 year group will use the programme during science and maths lessons. The other year group will continue with normal practice.

All schools in the evaluation will be asked to:

  • share the full names, Unique Pupil Numbers (for the National Pupil Database), dates of birth, Free School Meal eligibility as well as year group and class information of all pupils in Year 3 and Year 5 in Autumn 2022
  • share School Unique Reference Numbers (for the National Pupil Database) in Autumn 2022
  • support all Year 3 and Year 5 teachers to complete a short online survey in Autumn 2022 and Spring 2023
  • facilitate the collection of science and maths outcome measures with Year 3 and Year 5 in Summer 2023

Some schools will be asked to facilitate:

  • teacher and pupil focus groups in Spring 2023
  • lesson observations in Spring 2023


All Year 3 and Year 5 pupils will take part in the collection of outcome measures in Spring and Summer 2023. The science and maths outcome measures are standardised and age-appropriate. They will be collected as part of normal classroom teaching.

Some children whose teachers have been using the Stop and Think software will also be invited to take part in a focus group to understand what they think of it. Parents of these children will be contacted separately to provide consent for this closer to the time, in Spring 2023.

Parents/carers who do not want their child’s information to be used in the evaluation can contact their child’s teacher or the Stop and Think lead at their school. They can also contact the NatCen research team using the contact details below.

What will happen to any information I give?

We will share general findings from the evaluation with the EEF on an ongoing basis throughout the 2022/23 school year. At the end of the programme, we will write a report to the EEF that will be published online. We will not use any names, school names or any information that could identify individual staff or pupils in any of discussions with the EEF or in the final report.

Data from the evaluation will be shared with the Department for Education and the Office for National Statistics. It will also be stored in the Education Endowment Foundation archive (managed by FFT Education) where other research teams can access it. This data will be pseudonymised, which means that any information that might identify an individual teacher or pupil will be removed before the data is shared with the other organisations.

Further information can be found in our privacy notice.


In line with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we want to inform you how information will be processed in the evaluation of Stop and Think. 

Read more.

Contact us

You can contact the NatCen research team on 0808 1640 397 or at