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The Teaching and Learning Toolkit: Communicating research evidence to inform decision‐making for policy and practice in education

Higgins, S. and Katsipataki, M. and Villanueva Aguilera, A. and Alaidde, B. and Dobson, E. and Gascoine, L. and Rajab, T. and Reardon, J. and Stafford, J. and Uwimpuhwe, G. (2022) 'The Teaching and Learning Toolkit: Communicating research evidence to inform decision‐making for policy and practice in education.', Review of Education, 10 (1). e3327.


This article compares and contrasts two versions of the Education Endowment Foundation's (EEF) Teaching and Learning Toolkit (‘Toolkit’), a web-based summary of international evidence on teaching 3–18 year-olds. The Toolkit has localised versions in six different languages in Australia, Cameroon, Chile, Jordan and Spain. The initial Toolkit, created in 2011 with funding from the Sutton Trust and updated since then with funding from EEF, drew upon over 250 meta-analyses across 30 areas of education research. An updated version, drawing on a database of over 2500 single studies from these meta-analyses was launched in Autumn 2021. This change was motivated by increased interest in evidence-use in education, and a desire to engage in more rigorous synthesis of primary studies. The article presents the rationale for these changes, outlines the methods adopted to populate and analyse the Toolkit database and presents results from this analysis. Findings indicate that although the broad picture of the relative benefits of the different approaches is similar, a more fine-grained analysis is possible. This deeper synthesis can provide more specific guidance about what has been successful in the different areas of the Toolkit in research studies and offers opportunities for further refinement and improvement. This increased specificity, however, comes at the cost of greater complexity in the findings and the implications for policy and practice, and it increases the challenge of ensuring findings are both accurate and accessible. A final section reflects on the challenges of summarising evidence from research to inform decision-making in education.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 13 July 2023.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
File format - PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Higgins, S., Katsipataki, M., Villanueva Aguilera, A., Alaidde, B., Dobson, E., Gascoine, L., Rajab, T., Reardon, J., Stafford, J. & Uwimpuhwe, G. (2022). The Teaching and Learning Toolkit: Communicating research evidence to inform decision‐making for policy and practice in education. Review of Education 10(1): e3327, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
Date accepted:06 December 2021
Date deposited:28 June 2022
Date of first online publication:13 January 2022
Date first made open access:13 July 2023

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