Schools sought for £1 million trial of Learning Through REAL Projects


Schools have until Friday, December 6 to apply to take part in a £1 million randomised control trial for what has been called a “radical new method of teaching”.

The aim of the trial is to test the effectiveness of the “Learning Through REAL Projects” approach in the UK. 

The model has worked well in America, where it has reportedly improved student engagement and supported disadvantaged young people to achieve.

The trial has been funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and is being run by the Innovation Unit, a not-for-profit social enterprise.

The approach, which runs alongside traditional lessons, sees students learning through inter-disciplinary projects, peer-assessment and internships. 

Teachers work with local businesses or cultural organisations to design projects that help students to become independent, confident learners with a range of life-skills.

The students are challenged to create high-quality outputs from the projects, such as products that might be sold online or something that could be exhibited in public.

The Innovation Unit is looking for 24 UK schools to take part in the trial, which is to be supported by teachers from High Tech High in California, a group of schools which has embraced the model with some success. The work is planned to commence in September 2014 and the trial hopes to prove that the approach can have a significant impact on reducing the progression gap between disadvantaged students and their peers at ages 12 to 14.

Its affect on engagement, absenteeism, exclusions and behaviour will also be measured.

Schools interested in joining the programme or finding out more should contact Kim Schilling at the Innovation Unit on or call 020 7250 8093. 

The deadline for applications is Friday, December 6. Visit


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