The reviews selected for inclusion on the BEE UK are meta-analyses or other quantitative syntheses that apply consistent, scientific standards to bodies of evidence that both meet high standards of methodological quality and evaluate realistic implementations of programmes currently available to educators. Specifically, to be included, reviews must:
- Include an exhaustive search for all studies that meet well-justified standards of methodological quality and relevance to the issue being reviewed, and consider all of these studies.
- Present quantitative summaries of evidence on the effectiveness of programmes or practices used with primary and secondary school-age pupils, focusing on achievement outcomes.
- Focus on studies comparing programmes to control groups, with random assignment to conditions or matching on pre-tests or other variables that indicate that experimental and control groups were equivalent before the treatments began.
- Summarise programme outcomes in terms of effect sizes (experimental-control differences divided by the standard deviation) as well as statistical significance.
- Focus on studies that took place over periods of at least 12 weeks, to avoid brief, artificial laboratory studies.
- Focus on studies that used measures that assessed the content studied by control as well as experimental students, to avoid studies that used measures inherent to the experimental treatment.