Helen Poet, Simon Rutt, Claire Easton, Emily Buchanan and Kerry Martin
19 May 2021
The project to assess the impact of the Teach First Primary Programme on pupil attainment was first commissioned in 2016. Originally, the project was to be a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of Teach First training for primary school teachers compared with other routes of initial teacher training (ITT), however, there were concerns about the feasibility of randomly allocating teachers to schools and classes (thereby taking the decision away from the headteacher). A qualitative scoping study to inform the evaluation design was therefore conducted. The scoping study indicated that schools would not comply with an RCT, so a quasi-experimental design (QED) was proposed, and the evaluation commenced in 2018/19. However the project was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time of the first lockdown in March 2020, the project was part-way through the second attempt at recruitment of schools to the QED. Due to a number of issues the project was cancelled and the report serves as a record of the lessons learned during the process.