Comenius Impact Evaluation for British Council
This international education programme for UK schools, colleges and Local Authorities aims to provide opportunities for greater understanding and co-operation within Europe…
Having been instrumental in supporting the British Council’s successful 2006 bid to become UK National Agent for the delivery of the EU-funded Comenius Lifelong Learning Programme, Cambridge Education now has the role of delivering one of the key performance indicators: monitoring and evaluating the impact of strategies to widen participation in the programme.
Comenius consists of three broad strands:
- school partnerships
- professional development for school staff
- placements of European trainee teachers as Comenius Assistants in host schools.
Cambridge Education has undertaken several large-scale pieces of research, involving the widening participation agenda, and has drawn up a very comprehensive set of documentation that enables the British Council team to log the monitoring and evaluation processes in order to support future planning.
Cambridge Education’s research is both quantitative and qualitative. A baseline study was undertaken to assess participation by ethnicity and by disability. This study developed an ‘index of representation’ which identifies two levels at which under-representation can occur:
- institution level, where some types of schools are less well represented
- individual level, where some groups of students are not engaged in the programme.
Further research by Cambridge Education identified the barriers to participation in the programme in order that strategies could be developed to overcome these obstacles. This study involved in-depth interviews with staff in twenty schools, from which case studies were then developed.
Recently, Cambridge Education has created an evaluation ‘toolkit’, using the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) for each UK nation, to establish how representative the social-economic profile of schools participating in the Comenius programme is when compared with the four UK nations’ profiles. This will enable the Comenius team to measure over time how well the programme represents the four nations’ schools in terms of social and economic deprivation.
One participating teacher, praising the project, said:
“It has been my privilege as a teacher to witness the impact of the project on the life of the whole school”.
Cambridge Education has been invited to present the Comenius research at several conferences and events organised by the British Council.
Find out more
For more information about Cambridge Education’s ability to evaluate the impact of major programmes based on rigorous research and analysis, email firstname.lastname@example.org