Evaluation of School Incentive Payments for Mentor Training

Privacy Notice - Ambition Institute
Privacy Notice - Teach First

What are the aims of the trial?

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has been commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to run the evaluation of the early roll-out of the Early Career Framework (ECF). As part of this evaluation, we are undertaking a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the impact of an incentive payment on mentors’ engagement, specifically in mentor training. This trial will focus on the mentors in the schools that are taking part in to the early roll-out (in Greater Manchester, North East, Doncaster and Bradford) and are signed up to the early roll-out with either Ambition Institute or Teach First.

The trial will explore whether incentive payments made to schools have an impact on:

  • levels of engagement in mentor training
  • the number of mentors participating at various points (e.g. start, end of first term, end of year one)

Who can take part in the trial?

Participation in the trial is voluntary and open to all primary and secondary schools taking part in the early roll-out of the Early Career Framework with either Ambition Institute or Teach First. These schools must also have at least one mentor/early career teacher pairing signed up to either Ambition Institute’s or Teach First’s programme from September 2020.

How will the trial work?

All schools that agree to participate in the trial will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. Half of the recruited schools will be assigned to be in the intervention group and will receive the incentive payment for their mentors. The payment is intended to support schools to cover the costs associated with mentors attending their training. The total incentive will be a one-off payment of £775 per mentor in the school (provided they are working with an early career teacher) and will be paid directly to schools by the DfE this term (autumn term 2020). The incentive payment would be in addition to the funding received by the school at the start of the second year of the programme. The remaining schools will be assigned to a control group and will not receive the additional incentive payment.

Activities Timeline

Schools sign up to take part in the trial

2nd October – 20th October (8am)


20th October

Schools receive details of which group they have been allocated to via email

22nd October


Measuring the outcomes of the trial

As the payment is designed to incentivise mentor engagement in training, the attendance at the training modules will be the primary outcome measure. No additional data is required from schools taking part in the trial. Data on attendance at online training modules for mentors will be collected from the programme providers. This data will be collected by providers for all schools on the programme (not just those in the trial) as it enables effective management of the programme. We will look at both continuous and binary measures of attendance as well as any differences in drop out of mentors across the schools that receive the payment and the schools who do not.

How will NFER use and protect the data collected?

No school or teacher will be named in any report arising from this work. Where necessary, school and teacher-level information will be shared by the providers with NFER using a secure data exchange portal. Only anonymised findings will be shared with EEF, DfE and the providers and made available publically in the final report. The Privacy Notices for the project are available here:

Privacy Notice - Ambition Institute
Privacy Notice - Teach First

Who to contact?

For further information about the trial, please contact Priscilla Antwi on [email protected].