Evaluation of Tales Toolkit


The Tales Toolkit is an intervention that provides a package of training and resources to early years settings to support early language and social development through child-led storytelling activities. It has been designed by a dedicated organisation – Tales Toolkit – and independently evaluated at small-scale by Goldsmiths’, University of London.

The Tales Toolkit evaluation project is a collaboration between the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), Thames Valley Early Years Stronger Practice Hub, Tales Toolkit Limited (the organisation that designed and delivers the programme) Goldsmiths’, University of London (which led early research into the programme), and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES).

The roles of each party named above are as follows:

  • The EEF and Thames Valley Early Years Stronger Practice Hub, are the funders of the project.
  • Tales Toolkit is being jointly run by Tales Toolkit Limited, led by the founder of the programme Kate Shelley, and a team at Goldsmiths’ (‘the Delivery Team’). Goldsmiths’ will oversee elements of the contractual and administrative elements of the project while the Tales Toolkit team lead on recruitment activity, provision of the programme to settings and supporting settings to engage with Tales Toolkit. The Delivery Team are responsible for the implementation of Tales Toolkit and will not have access to the evaluation data during the study.
  • IES (‘the Evaluation Team’) will evaluate the programme focusing on the ease with which early years settings can implement it to expected quality standards, whether practitioners find the resources helpful, and practitioners’ views of children’s engagement with the intervention and whether it has an effect on language development. This will enable an assessment of whether the programme could be implemented at a larger scale.

In line with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this privacy notice sets out how the Delivery Team and the Evaluation Team will collect and use your personal data, and who you can contact with a query or a complaint. We promise to respect any of your personal information which is under our control and to keep it safe. We aim to be clear when we collect your information about what we will do with it and let you know of any material changes to this notice. Paper copies of relevant Privacy Notices are available on request.

What is the legal basis for processing my data?

IES is an independent data controller for this evaluation. IES’ legal basis for processing personal data is ‘legitimate interests’. The evaluation of Tales Toolkit fulfils one of IES’ core business purposes (undertaking research, evaluation and information activities) and therefore in their legitimate interest that processing personal information is necessary for the conduct of the evaluation.

Tales Toolkit Limited is an independent data controller for the data they collect for recruitment of settings and delivery of the project. Tales Toolkit’s legal basis for processing data is ‘legitimate interests’. The evaluation of Tales Toolkit fulfils one of Tales Toolkit’s core business purposes (undertaking training, information provision and research activities) and therefore in their legitimate interest that processing personal information is necessary for the delivery of the project.

What kind of information do we collect?

The research will involve:

■    Online surveys (baseline and post-treatment for practitioners)

■    Interviews with key staff (eg settings managers and practitioners) at two timepoints to form settings case studies

■    Review of training programme provided online by Tales Toolkit

■    Observations of delivery: focused on practitioners in early years settings delivering the intervention to children

■    Interviews with practitioners at the end of the intervention

■    Interviews with delivery team at the end of delivery

■    Collecting and analysing data on fidelity including delivery team data.

Personal data of key staff and practitioners (i.e. name, job role, email address and telephone number) will only be collected where it is necessary: either to send invitations to participate in the research or where it is relevant to the interview/survey to contextualise your responses. For the purposes of sending invitations to take part in the research, this information will either be obtained from publicly available sources (e.g. your organisation’s website) or supplied by your setting with your explicit consent.

Staff who return their questionnaires will be entered into a prize draw, if they consent to IES using their contact details for this purpose (there will be one prize draw at baseline and another with the endline survey: a £50 prize for 1 person and £25 for 2 others).

No personal data of children will be collected from the settings it visits to conduct case studies. In leading these visits, IES will focus will be on the practitioners and other staff in the setting only.

How will my data be treated?

We take all reasonable steps to protect your personal information and follow procedures designed to prevent unauthorised access, alteration, loss or disclosure of your information.

Tales Toolkit will collect personal data (of key staff and practitioners) from settings in a password protected email form. (Please find Tales Toolkit’s privacy notice here.

This information will be securely transferred to the Evaluation Team using OwnCloud. Personal data will be stored on an encrypted server with access restricted solely to members of the evaluation team.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

If you are invited and choose to take part in an interview, survey or case study for this project, the data you give will be used for research purposes only. IES will produce a report that summarises the main findings from all these research activities. Individuals will not be named, nor will any information be included that could reveal your identity, except with your explicit permission. This report will be made publicly available on the EEF website Education Endowment Foundation | EEF for anyone who is interested in the findings of the research.

The Evaluation and Delivery Teams may also decide to disseminate the findings more widely for example, writing an article for a peer reviewed academic journal.

We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for. Your personal information, interview and observation notes, interview and survey opinions and responses will be securely deleted from the Evaluation Team’s systems six months after the project is complete (currently estimated to be May 2025).

Who else has access to your information?

Goldsmiths, University of London are a data processor for Tales Toolkit. A detailed data processing agreement will be put in place between Tales Toolkit and Goldsmiths’ to ensure data shared between them (for contractual and administrative purposes) will be kept securely.

The data controllers (the Delivery Team or the Evaluation Team) may disclose your information to third parties in connection with the purposes of processing your personal data set out in this notice. These third parties may include suppliers, research assistants, trusted academic partners and subcontractors who may process information on behalf of the data controllers to carry out such work as undertaking interviews or transcribing interviews. In all cases, the data controllers will ensure that these third parties enter into appropriate data processing agreements with us and that they keep your personal data secure and confidential.

We may also disclose your personal information if required by law, or to protect or defend ourselves or others against illegal or harmful activities, or as part of a reorganisation or restructuring of our organisations.

Your legal rights

Under certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data, including the rights to:

■       Request access to your personal data: this enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check we are lawfully processing it.

■       Withdraw the information you have provided as part of the interviews or survey up to two weeks after you have submitted your response.

See: Information Commissioner’s Office website for a full description of your legal rights.

If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above in connection with this research project, please contact Suzanne Anderson, Data Protection Officer at IES on Suzanne.Anderson@employment-studies.co.uk

Who can I contact with a query about how my data will be used?

If you have any questions about how your data will be used, please contact the Project Director or Project Manager for the evaluation:

■       Becci Newton, Director of Public Policy and Research at IES (Project Director): Becci.Newton@employment-studies.co.uk

■       Ceri Williams, Senior Research Fellow at IES (Project Manager): Ceri.Williams@employment-studies.co.uk

Who can I contact with a complaint?

Under GDPR, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office at www.ico.org.uk. We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO, so please contact IES in the first instance.

Company details for the research and delivery team and funders of the evaluation

The Education Endowment Foundation is a charity registered in England

■       Charity registration number: 1142111

■       Company number: 07587909

■       Registered office: Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP

■       Email: info@eefoundation.org.uk

The Institute for Employment Studies is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England.

■       Registration number: 931547

■       Charity registration number: 258930

■       Registered office: Institute for Employment Studies, City Gate, 185 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN3 1 TL6

■       Email: Ceri.Williams@employment-studies.co.uk

Tales Toolkit is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England.

■       Registration number: 09013867

■       Charity registration number: N/A

■       Registered office: Tales Toolkit Ltd, 14 Thorogood Gardens, Stratford, London, E151HG

■       Email: info@talestoolkit.com

Goldsmiths’ College (also known as ‘Goldsmiths, University of London’), is a body incorporated by royal charter

■       Registration number RC000715

■       Administrative offices: New Cross, London SE14 6NW