Evidence for Learning

Evidence for Learning helps great practice become common practice in education.

Incubated by Social Ventures Australia and supported by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the Education Endowment Foundation (UK) as founding partners, Evidence for Learning has been developed to help educators increase learning by improving the evidence of what works best and why. This makes the biggest difference for learners in disadvantaged settings where school education plays a crucial role in improving their life chances.

With more than $50 billion invested annually in school education we can and must do better to help education leaders make better evidence-informed decisions for the benefit of students.

Venture mission

Evidence for Learning has a vision of an Australia where evidence-informed approaches improve learning, so that all children, regardless of background, make the best possible progress. The venture brokers, translates and mobilises knowledge between education researchers, policy makers, systems leaders, school practitioners and the wider community.

‘Using evidence of ‘what works and why’ so higher impact approaches will be more frequently adopted and lower impact approaches more quickly retired.’

This is achieved by:

  • Building evidence through the Learning Impact Fund.
  • Sharing evidence through the Toolkit. The Toolkit is a free online regulalrly updated summary of educational research, designed to inform practice by identifying the most effective approaches to improving student attainment.
  • Encouraging the use of evidence through building a community committed to developing an evaluative culture in schools and early learning centres.

Read more about Evidence for Learning.

‘Schools need to become incubators of programs, evaluators of impact and experts at interpreting the effects of teachers and teaching on all students.’

John Hattie, Chair, Evidence for Learning Expert Reference Council

Goal of SVA partnership

SVA works in partnership with Evidence for Learning to promote wider adoption of evidence based practice throughout the Australian education system. This includes advocating for government support for an independent evidence body that will provide services to all Australian schools and educators.

SVA support


SVA founded the Evidence for Learning venture in May 2016.

Case study

Sam Symes was the Deputy Principal at Regents Park State School in Logan City, south of Brisbane from 2015-2016. He is an evidence-informed leader that uses Evidence for Learning’s Impact Evaluation Cycle to make explicit improvements to challenges in the school.

Sam and his team used student achievement data combined with attendance and SES data to identify a problem in students’ maths confidence.

They turned to Evidence for Learning’s Teaching & Learning Toolkit, a free online summary of up-to-date international and domestic educational research, designed to inform practice. The Toolkit helped them to identify high impact approaches to improve students’ maths confidence and selected Mastery Learning as a strategy.

The leadership team developed their own implementation plan for the strategy having awareness of their schools context and need. They created measures of success including student reports on skills and small sample test results and ran a trial over two terms to consider the benefit of the approach.

With evidence of students’ progress and feedback from staff, they rolled out the program across the school in late 2016.

In 2017 Sam was appointed Principal at Pullenvale State School, where he’s using the methodology of the Toolkit.

‘The toolkit has influence for all school contexts, in the fact that I can work with evidenced methodologies in low and high performance and socio schools. I have engaged our teaching staff in the toolkit and I am seeing an immediate impact in their daily practical thinking around the teaching and learning phase.’

Sam Symes, Principal, Pullenvale State School