Evidence for Learning: Who are we and what we do

Who are we and what we do

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

Evidence for Learning’s mission is to help busy educators – especially educational leaders – increase learning for children and young people, by improving the quality, availability and use of evidence in education.

Evidence for Learning (E4L) was established in 2015 by non-profit Social Ventures Australia (SVA) to support busy educators – especially educational leaders – increase learning for all children and young people regardless of their background by improving the quality, availability and use of research evidence in schools and early learning settings. E4L has had a special focus on supporting children and young people experiencing disadvantage, to help bridge the gap between the learning outcomes of children from lower-income backgrounds and those from higher-income backgrounds.

By mid-2023, E4L had 26,000 frequent users of its materials. Since its inception in 2015, there have been over 150,000 downloads of reports and resources. In addition to publishing over 175 evidence-informed resources for educators and the delivery of over 425 professional learning events to a total of over 16,000 educators since 2015, E4L has commissioned three Randomised Control Trials, two pilot studies, four systematic reviews and two research investigations on topics of importance for educators.

In early 2024, E4L moved to its next phase, outside of SVA. For the next two years, the Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) international partnerships team will ensure that the E4L evidence assets and resources remain available for use by Australian educators and others at no charge. The EEF has been a supporter of E4L since the beginning through licensing of the Toolkits and the provision of technical and operational guidance and support. While the website and some professional learning support will continue, E4L will no longer publish regular updates via email or social media channels, nor will it publish new evidence resources.

The EEF is an UK-based, independent charity dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement by supporting schools in England to improve teaching and learning through better use of evidence. The EEF’s core mission is in improving education in England, but through the Evidence for Education Network they continue to explore strategic relationships with organisations in Australia that might continue the work of E4L.

Associated professional learning providers are available to support Australian educators to use E4L’s evidence assets and resources. If you are interested in getting this kind of professional learning support, please contact the EEF using this form.

E4L is committed to growing the use of independent, practical, and empowering education evidence.


E4L’s mission is to help busy educators – especially educational leaders – increase learning for children, by improving the quality, availability and use of evidence in education.


E4L’s vision is an Australia where evidence-informed approaches increase learning, so that all children, regardless of background, make the best possible progress.


E4L has the following values.


Work with, but separate from all Governments (Federal, State and Territory levels) to give unbiased, apolitical and approach-agnostic advice.

Educators around Australia can be confident that E4L only promotes the best evidence-based approaches to support better learning.


Belief in the power of evidence to help lift educational outcomes for children and young people, and knowledge that the only place it can make a difference is in the hands of practicing educators.

Understanding of the realities of budget limitations. It is not enough to know an approach is effective; it must also be cost effective.


Support for the great educators and educational leaders already working in every school and early learning setting across Australia with evidence about what really works to help them make better decisions in their context.


Accurate and appropriate use of data and evidence can help turn great practice into common practice. When great practice becomes common practice, the whole system can grow and improve.

An important note on supporting children and young people experiencing disadvantage

As education is one of the key drivers to break the cycle of disadvantage, E4L wants every child to have the chance to make the best possible progress, regardless of their background. E4L has had a focus on supporting children and young people experiencing disadvantage. For example, E4L highlights different effects of the researched approaches on students in low socio-economic contexts.

Social Ventures Australia wishes to thank the philanthropic funders who supported the establishment and operation of E4L over the years, including BHP Foundation (2022−2023 funder), Ian Potter Foundation (2022−2023 funder for early childhood education), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (founding funder), The Bryan Foundation (founding funder for early childhood education) and other funders who funded collaborative projects (these contributions are recognised on individual project pages – see Collaborative Projects).

Social Ventures Australia also wishes to acknowledge the support of various E4L governance and advisory bodies over the years, including the following people who contributed to E4L’s School Reference Council, Early Childhood Education Expert Reference Council and the E4L Evidence into Practice Working Group (organisations correct as per time of contribution):

Schools Expert Reference Council 

The Schools Expert Reference Council consisted of independent experts in education, school improvement and equity.

Council members

  • Laureate Professor John Hattie (Chair) – Melbourne Graduate School of Education
  • Mark Clutton – Certified Lead Teacher, Gungahlin College, ACT
  • Penny Dakin – former CEO, Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY)
  • Ross Fox – Director, Catholic Education, Canberra-Goulburn, National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC)
  • Tiffany Roos – Director, The Evidence Institute, The Association of Independent Schools of NSW
  • Deborah Summerhayes (and previously Murat Dizdar) – Deputy Secretary, School Performance, Department of Education NSW
  • Laureate Professor Jennifer Gore – Director, Teachers and Teaching Research Centre, University of Newcastle
  • Dr Sandra Nissen (and previously Dr Deb Kember) – Director, Strategic Implementation, Department of Education QLD
  • Associate Professor Mark Rickinson – Faculty of Education, Monash University
  • Dr Sarah Richardson – Executive Director, Asia Education Foundation
  • Dr Connie Spinoso – Director of the Evidence, Insights and Analytics Branch, Department of Education, Victoria
  • Professor Pauline Taylor-Guy, Director, Centre for School and System Improvement
  • Matthew Deeble – Executive Director, Strategic Business Operations – Social Ventures Australia

Early Childhood Education Expert Reference Council

The Early Childhood Education Expert Reference Council consists of independent experts in early childhood education.

Council members

  • Professor Karen Thorpe (Chair) – Professorial Research Fellow, Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland
  • Myra Geddes (Deputy Chair) – General Manager Social Impact, Goodstart Early Learning
  • David Ansell – CoLab Co-Director of Policy, Telethon Kids Institute
  • Shae Haylen (and previously Jane Bourne representing ECA) – General Manager, Professional Learning, Early Childhood Australia
  • Jane Hunt – former CEO, The Front Project
  • Rhonda Livingstone – National Education Leader and General Manager, Educational Leadership, Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
  • Pippa Procter – Director, Early Learning and Development Reform, Department of Education and Training, Victoria
  • Rowena Shirtcliff (and previously Dr Grant Webb) – Executive Director Strategy, Innovation and Programs, Early Childhood and Community Engagement, Queensland Department of Education
  • Dr Sandra Cheeseman – Chief Executive Officer, C&K (Creche & Kindergarten Association)
  • Professor Sally Brinkman – University of South Australia
  • Nicole Deen (and previously Dr Rebecca Goodhue) – Lead, Capacity Building at the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY)
  • Danielle Toon – Director, Evidence for Learning

E4L Evidence into Practice Working Group 

The E4L Evidence into Practice Working Group was comprised of teachers, educators and leaders from across Australia.

Working group members

  • Maria Alberto, School Research Lead and Instructional Coach, VIC
  • Robyn Arri, Assistant Principal – Learning, QLD
  • Tom Cain, Principal at Port Melbourne Primary School, VIC
  • Amber Carter, Assistant Principal – Teaching & Learning, NSW
  • James Ellis, Lead Teacher – Year 5, SA
  • Charles Gabriel, Secondary Teacher, WA
  • Narelle Harry, Learning Specialist (Literacy) and classroom teacher, VIC
  • Merridy Jones, Teacher in a primary setting, QLD
  • Ross Kennedy, School Director of Technology, Development and Strategic Direction, NSW
  • Si Ning Koh, Manager of Pedagogy, Practice & Continuous Improvement (ECE), NSW
  • Juanita Milne, Early Childhood Teacher, QLD
  • Louise O’Donovan, Principal, WA
  • James Sach, Year 10 Coordinator, VIC
  • Louise Stewart, Senior School Improvement Practice Leader, South West Victoria Region, Victorian Department of Education and Training, VIC
  • Penny Weily, Principal of Ross Park Primary School – Alice Springs, NT
  • Tim Wilson, Senior Education Improvement Leader, Victorian Department of Education and Training, VIC
  • Tanya Young, Senior Strategy Associate (Catholic education), ACT

We thank these partners for their generous support.