This website collects a number of cookies from its users for improving your overall experience of the site.

Research School Network: Meet our new Evidence Leads in Education ELEs use research and evidence to improve their schools and networks. They’re experts in supporting schools through change.


Meet our new Evidence Leads in Education

ELEs use research and evidence to improve their schools and networks. They’re experts in supporting schools through change.

by East London Research School
on the

Tania Choudhury is the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator at Sheringham Nursery School. She has a keen interest in metacognition and self-regulation in the Early Years, having replicated a study and disseminated her ideas at a conference and beyond. She has written about metacognition for the Chartered College of Teaching’s Journal, Impact.

Tania is also completing a Masters in Special and Inclusive Education. Her research is focusing on the experience of BAME parents of having a child with SEND and their access to the local offer. Tania is eager to use research to close the attainment gap, particularly as children with SEND are the group at most risk.

Alongside her SENCO role, Tania is working as a research officer for the University of Oxford. The focus of the research is how Bangladeshi children talk and play at home. Tania has blogged about this here.

Prior to this, she had authored a chapter in the book Celebrating Children’s Learningthat explored some of the reasons why the gap between school engagement with BAME families exists. Her conversations with a group of British-Bangladeshi parents were documented and she wrote about how such findings impacted her practice and consequently the children’s development.


Fliss James is an experienced early years teacher who is passionate about the impact of high quality early years education and care. She has had wide and varied experience as a practitioner, leader, manager and trainer across the breadth of the early years sector, having previously been a deputy head, tutor for initial teacher education and an early years consultant for Action for Children.

Fliss believes what happens in the early years really matters and can make a significant difference to children’s life chances. She whole-heartedly believes in the power of working collaboratively; learning together in partnership to build knowledge and share effective practice through the use of evidence-informed approaches to implement positive change and improve outcomes for all children. Fliss is trained and experienced in using the Environment Rating Scales: ITERS 3, ECERS 3 and ECERS‑E and SSTEW and uses these powerful research-based tools to enable settings and schools to engage in reflection, self-evaluation and quality improvement.

Fliss has a particular interest in early maths and language development and has an MSc in Language and Communication.

Dr Polly Crowther leads Early Years at Oasis Academy Skinner Street, delivering research-informed practice to support a community of children facing multiple barriers to education.

She is especially passionate about the power (and challenges) of effective pedagogies of play to accelerate progress in early childhood.

Polly is co-founder of Early Insights, a global community working to inspire a movement for early childhood by creating connections, exchanging knowledge and amplifying the voice of early education and care.

She believes that innovative research and bridging the gap between research and practice are powerful drivers to achieve sustainable improvements in education, especially for children facing additional barriers, including low-income. Formerly a senior leader at Teach First, Polly led programmes to support teachers, school leaders and social entrepreneurs to increase their impact in improving outcomes for children. She is looking forward to working with schools to implement research-informed improvement.


Allison Carvalho is a Specialist Teacher and Dyslexia Assessor at Kaizen Primary School. She’s worked with children with literacy differences for the past 12 years and is particularly interested in strategies that help learners to develop self-efficacy (a posh way of saying belief’ and motivation’). Allison finds it especially satisfying to teach children how to read with confidence and enjoyment. Outside work, Allison likes writing poetry. She’s a winner of the BBC’s Roots Around London competition, a Poetry Society slam winner and is currently drafting songs for her brother’s forthcoming album. Allison also volunteers for A Community for Change, a Newham-based group that helps parents and children to access support around education, health and mental health. In her past life, Allison was a business journalist for nearly two decades during which she had the privilege of travelling the world and meeting lots of interesting people. She was Editor of several publications you haven’t heard of, but also wrote for one you may know: The Independent on Sunday.


Siobhan Campbell was the founding headteacher of Hackney New Primary School.

When opening and establishing Hackney New Primary School, Siobhan had the opportunity to work with the founding team to shape a distinctive curriculum offer which led to the school achieving Outstanding in its first Ofsted inspection in May 2018.

Prior to that, Siobhan has worked as a maths specialist teacher and deputy headteacher at an outstanding school in Camden.Siobhan is currently working with the central team for Eko Trust to support schools, in particular developing the Interim Curriculum for 2020 – 2021 in collaboration with school leaders. Siobhan has also previously worked in supporting schools to raise achievement in maths, and has mostly recently contributed to ASCL’s independent commission of enquiry The Forgotten Third (2019) and to The Primary Curriculum Leader’s Handbook (2019).

ELE pic

Dr Stephanie Coombe has worked in special education for 19 years and is currently Eko Trust’s Strategy Lead for Resilience and SEMH. Stephanie writes:

During my career, I have played an instrumental role in school improvement and self-evaluation, using data to measure the impact of interventions and inform their implementation. I have supported other special, primary and secondary mainstream schools with behaviour, mental health and modelling alongside teachers to support their teaching and learning in class.My philosophy in education is that all pupils, especially those faced with various sources of disadvantage, deserve the best. Leaders need to develop committed staff who have high expectations of themselves and of pupils. All school staff need an understanding of pupils’ needs and know how to open up a world of experiences and aspirations for them that build on their strengths. Both my PhD research and my experiential knowledge have taught me that small inputs can have a big impact on pupils and this is central to the culture and ethos of a school. I believe that all staff hold vital roles within a school community, whether this be the Site Supervisor, or Receptionist. Relationships are key within school communities, from working with families, external agencies or Governors. Understanding and supporting pupils and their families holistically results in decreased exclusions, higher engagement, improved wellbeing and increased attainment. Every member of staff can contribute to this and have a positive impact on the development of pupils as well rounded and contributing citizens of our future.


More from the East London Research School

Show all news