Plain English Summary
Background & Aims
This study aims to develop participants’ sense of self-efficacy, social confidence and teamwork skills by supporting year 10 pupils to design and deliver a fundraising campaign for a charity chosen by the pupils. It combines project work in small teams with mentoring by local business leaders. The groups participate in a combination of in-school sessions, business-hosted sessions and cross-school events. The results are judged as part of a cross-school competition, in which all teams are assessed and one team is chosen as a winner based on a final presentation.
The intervention will be delivered by Envision, an organisation founded in 2000 dedicated to enabling young people to ‘become more aware of social and environmental problems and empowered with the self-belief and skills they need to build a better world’.
Who can participate?
Year 10 students in 30 participating schools who have been nominated by their school to take part.
What does the study involve?
Students will be randomly allocated to the intervention or the control group.
The intervention group will participate in the following programme over a 12 week period:
1. A 6 hour cross-school event allowing pupils to be exposed to a variety of local charities who pitch for their support. Pupils then choose which charity they’d like to fundraise for.
2. Four 2 hour business mentor sessions, in which teams attend workshops with trained volunteers from local companies. Session material is provided and sessions are generally delivered at the business premises
3. Eleven 1 hour sessions in school, in which the pupils are supported by Envision coaches to develop their ideas for fundraising and a fundraising plan; and reflect on their progress
4. A final 3 hour ‘Apprentice-style’ cross school event and boardroom challenge in which pupils present their results against other schools in their area.
Participants randomised into the control group will not receive any programming.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The possible benefit to participants is that taking part in this programme may lead to improved character outcomes (as observed in a previous RCT of the programme), and this improvement may lead to improved test scores. There are no known risks to participants taking part in this study.
Where is the study run from?
1. Envision (UK)
2. Behavioural Insights Team (UK)
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
June 2017 to August 2018
Who is funding the study?
1. Education Endowment Foundation (UK)
2. Careers and Enterprise Company (UK)
3. Bank of America Merrill Lynch (USA)
Who is the main contact?
Using the Community Apprentice programme to improve student attainment: A randomised trial in schools
Participation in Envision's Community Apprentice programme, which engages year 10 pupils in designing and delivering a fundraising campaign for a charity of their choosing, will improve pupils' overall GCSE performance in year 11.
Ethical review for this trial is governed by the EEF's guidelines and by BIT's internal ethical procedure, which is based on that established by the Economic and Social Research Council. The internal review was completed on 15 June 2017.
Interventional two-armed randomised controlled trial
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised controlled trial
Quality of life
Patient information sheet
Available at the trial website
Overall GCSE attainment at the end of year 11
30 schools will recruit 26 year 10 pupils each. The total number of pupils who are able to take part in the intervention in each school is limited to 13, as this reflects Envision’s capacity to deliver the programme. Pupils will be randomised within schools - 13 will be randomised into the treatment group, and 13 will be assigned to the control group. Where the number of pupils recruited exceeds 26, we will randomly select 26 pupils to be included in the evaluation, and randomisation will be conducted as described above. Where the number of pupils recruited is less than 26, 13 will be randomised into the treatment group and the remaining number will be assigned to the control group. Pupils in each school are stratified by their Free School Meals status. A random number will be generated for each student, and the participant list will be sorted by random number within each block. Alternating condition assignments will be applied to the list (an additional random number will determine if assignment begins with treatment (odd number) or control (even number). Where schools have under-recruited, the student(s) with the lowest random numbers in the control group will be re-allocated to the treatment group until the treatment group contains 13 students.
Treatment group participants will take part in a 12-week programme that includes several elements: a 6 hour cross school event where pupils learn about the charities for which they can fundraise; four 2 hour business mentor sessions, in which teams attend workshops with trained volunteers from local companies; eleven 1 hour sessions in school, where pupils are supported by Envision coaches to develop their ideas for fundraising; and a 3 hour 'Apprentice-style' cross-school event in which pupils present their results and compete against other schools in their region.
Participants in the control group will not have any intervention provided.
Primary outcome measure
Overall GCSE performance at the end of the 2018-19 school year, as measured by the capped average point scores across eight best GCSEs (Attainment 8)
Secondary outcome measures
1. Maths attainment at the end of the 2018-19 school year, as assessed by GCSE point score
2. English attainment at the end of the 2018-19 school year, as assessed by the averaged English Language and English Literature GCSE point scores
3. The programme's impact on the development of three key non-cognitive skills, assessed at the end of the 2017-18 school year:
3.1. Self-efficacy, as measured by the 'New General Self Efficacy Scale’ (NGSE)
3.2. Social confidence, as measured by the 'Self- Perceived Communication Competence Scale’ (SPCC)
3.3. Team behaviour, as measured by the 'Teamwork Scale for Youth’ (TSY)
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
Students in year 10 selected by school staff to take part in the intervention in participating schools
Target number of participants
Participant exclusion criteria
Pupils whose parents objected to the child's participation in the programme and/or the evaluation
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
Elizabeth House 39 York Road
Trial participating centre
Behavioural Insights Team
4 Matthew Parker Street
Education Endowment Foundation
Funding Body Type
private sector organisation
Funding Body Subtype
Trusts, charities, foundations (both public and private)
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
We will publish an Evaluation Report in April 2020, which will include the impact estimates for the primary and secondary outcomes. This will be published on the study page of the Education Endowment Foundation website.
IPD sharing statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study will be stored in the UK Data Archive repository, including all data used to produce the final report. The full data set will be provided to the Fischer Family Trust (FFT) data lab by 24th November 2020. The FFT is responsible for anonymising and preparing this for the UK Data Archive. The UK Data Archive will set all criteria regarding data sharing. Participants were informed of archival.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Stored in repository
Basic results (scientific)