Sheffield Children’s University – How does it make a difference?

Each year Sheffield Children’s University analyses the impact of Children’s University participation in Sheffield. This report provides an analysis of results in Sheffield comparing academic performance in Key Stage 2 SATS taken in year 6 at primary school, and Key Stage 4 GCSE’s taken in year 11 with participation in Children’s University activities. Year on year, results of this analysis have continually shown a clear link between participation in Children’s University and achievement and attendance at school.

Furthermore, a number of case studies and results of parent/carer surveys evidence the postive impact CU has all those who take part. In a recent survey, over 80% of parents/carers said being part of CU in Sheffield has increased their child’s confidence and self esteem as well as their physical and mental well-being and helped them develop the life skills they need to succeed.

Find the most recent published report here:

Sheffield Children’s University | Sheffield City Council

Learning Beyond The Classroom: The State of the Nation 2023

Since 2021 the national CU Trust has published an annual State of the Nation report, sharing insights into the state of learning beyond the classroom based on data from their digital platform, Children’s University Online (CUO).

You can find this report here:

State of the Nation | Children’s University (

EEF - Children's University Evaluation

In 2017 the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) released an evaluation of Children’s University. Like us, their fundamental mission is to ensure that the education of young people offers a level playing field that enables each and every child to aspire, attain, and succeed.

Designed to assess the efficacy of extracurricular activities in increasing attainment and providing important life skills and attitudes, the project’s positive feedback serves to reiterate our firmly held belief in the worth and importance of learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Results showed that children participating in Children’s University made 2 months additional progress in maths and reading at KS2. For those on Free School Meals this was 3 months.

You can download a summary and the full report on EEF’s website here:

Children’s University | EEF (

Nesta, University of Sussex and Skills Builder: The impact of Children’s University on the development of essential skills in children

In 2021 the CU Trust published the results of a research project into the impact of Children’s University on the development of essential skills in children aged 11+.

Funded by Nesta and supported by the University of Sussex, results from the project showed a direct link between participation in Children’s University and the use and improvement in essential skills development in line with the Skills Builder Framework. This is the first report that accurately illustrates and quantifies the impact that CU has on skills development.

You can find this report here:

full-report-the-impact-of-cu-on-the-development-of-essential-skills.pdf (

Children's University and Ofsted

Children’s University’s focus on activities beyond the classroom is a great fit for Ofsted’s revised guidance on character education and personal development.

In a recent South Yorkshire CU school Ofsted report, inspectors commented that ‘pupils enjoy taking part in ‘Children’s University’, where they learn to broaden their life experiences to better prepare them for adulthood.’  (Kiveton Park Infant School, June 2023)

Find the full report here:

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