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The research behind our assessment apps
and interventions

As a University of Oxford spinout company, research is at our core. Everything OxEd does draws on the science of learning and includes rigorous evaluations of our assessments and interventions. We are proud that several independent evaluations have been completed of the solutions we provide, consistently demonstrating their effectiveness in improving children’s educational outcomes.



LanguageScreen was used in a study evaluating the effectiveness of the NELI Programme, testing approximately 6,000 children. The findings revealed:

  • A 10-15-minute LanguageScreen test administered by teachers and/or teaching assistants was found to be as valid and reliable as a 30-minute language assessment conducted by a professional speech and language therapist using standardised tests of language ability.
  • LanguageScreen identified children with language difficulties and accurately measured improvements in their language skills over time.

Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI)

A series of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) – the gold-standard method for measuring the effectiveness of an intervention – have made NELI the best evidenced language intervention in the world and shown that it brings about educationally meaningful improvements:

  • NELI children made 3-5 months’ additional progress in language skills in just six months.
  • Children from less advantaged backgrounds made an average 7 months’ additional progress in their language skills.
  • NELI children’s behaviour was shown to improve significantly (compared to the control group).
  • Children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) made the same additional progress as children speaking English at home.
  • NELI is not expensive to implement – the EEF’s cost rating is ‘very low’.
  • NELI’s positive effects can be seen long-term, with improvements in language and word reading being seen in children two years after the intervention.
  • NELI is the only early years language intervention to be awarded 5/5 for evidence security by the Education Endowment Foundation.

NELI Preschool 


A randomised controlled trial (RCT) of NELI Preschool provided good evidence that whole-class intervention delivered in nursery can produce educationally significant improvements in children’s language skills.

  • Children receiving NELI Preschool made three months’ additional progress in their oral language skills.
  • NELI Preschool was found to be both scalable and relatively low cost to implement.
  • LanguageScreen was shown to be a reliable screener of language skills for this young age group.

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