Research School Network: New research schools will become regional hubs for education research

New research schools will become regional hubs for education research

Five schools across England will become focal-points of education research in their region after winning part of £2.5m of funding from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Institute for Effective Education (IEE). The new Research Schools will build networks between large numbers of schools in their region and support them to make better use of evidence to inform their teaching and learning.

The five Research Schools, appointed following a competitive application process, are:

  • Aspirer Teaching School Alliance, based at Ash Grove Academy, Macclesfield
  • Huntington School, York
  • Kingsbridge Community College, Devon
  • Kyra Teaching School Alliance, based at Mount Street Academy, Lincoln
  • Shireland Collegiate Academy, Sandwell

There is a growing body of evidence-based resources and tools available to help inform school leaders and teachers on improving pupil results and spending their budgets more effectively; but it can be difficult to get research into schools in ways that really make a difference in the classroom.

The new Research Schools are all recognised as leaders in bridging between education research and everyday classroom practice. They’ll use their expertise to support up to 1000 schools by:

  • Encouraging schools in their network to make use of evidence-based programmes and practices through regular communication and events.
  • Providing training and professional development for senior leaders and teachers on how to improve classroom practice based on the best available evidence.
  • Supporting schools to develop innovative ways of improving teaching and learning and providing them with the expertise to evaluate their impact.

The new research networks will be unveiled at the Department for Education West Midlands conference at Shireland Collegiate Academy in Smethwick today.

The EEF and IEE will appoint a further five Research Schools in 2016 – 17 to ensure that more schools have the opportunity to be supported by the expertise within these networks. Each of the ten schools will receive £200,000 over three years to enable them to fulfil their roles.

Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said today:

Evidence of what works is one of our most useful tools in the drive to improve educational standards. The launch of Research Schools is an important step by the EEF to supporting schools to make best use of it. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to partner with the Institute for Effective Education and fund the Research Schools network.”

Professor Bette Chambers, Director of the Institute for Effective Education, said:

There is increasing demand from the profession for evidence-based programmes and practices to help teachers ensure the success of their pupils. It is heartening to see the strong leadership that these first five Research Schools are bringing to this endeavour.”

Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said today:

Teachers and school leaders now have access to a significant and growing body of academic research with the potential to make a real difference in the classroom. But we know that research on its own is not enough; applying the findings to the classroom is a real challenge. No-one is better-placed to support schools in doing this than teachers themselves.”

Roger Pope, Executive Principal of Kingsbridge Community College said:

Schools are now leading the system. Being one of the first five Research Schools is a fantastic opportunity that allows us to build on our extensive networks so that we can support other schools in embedding a research-based approach to improving pupil outcomes.”

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