Research School Network: Traction & Horse Power: A New Research School’s Perspective An insight into the work and experiences of a new Research School

Traction & Horse Power: A New Research School’s Perspective

An insight into the work and experiences of a new Research School

by Staffordshire Research School
on the

Traction & Horse Power: A New Research School’s Perspective

The Research Schools Network (RSN) is exactly that, a true network. Being one of the 10 new Research Schools this academic year, the established research schools have been both welcoming and generous. Sharing their experiences, advice and strategies for supporting sustainable evidence-informed school leadership. In the EEF’s Central & West region there a 6 research Schools. We are fortunate to have 3 established Research Schools (Shirelands, Stoke and Sandringham) along with 2 other fellow newbies (St. Matthews and Billesley in Birmingham), all of which have offered insightful and experienced perspectives of how, as a region, we can collaborate to form an offer that supports schools with their own priorities, in their own contexts. Pleasingly, but not surprisingly, our individual strengths and areas of specialism combine to provide full coverage of the EEF’s suite of Guidance Reports.

It’s been a busy first month at the Staffordshire Research School at John Taylor – a month full of excitement, motivation, planning, networking and more importantly, learning and reflecting. The work of the Staffordshire Research School recently has included: 

  • Collaborating and coordinating – all the RSs from the Central & West region met at St. Matthews RS with our regional lead, Sue Morgan, to strategically plan a broad offer that will meet the needs of schools and young people in our region. In addition, we met over 100 NLEs and school leaders we attended the West Midlands National Leaders in Education briefing, where it was really pleasing to see the work of the EEF and support mechanisms that Research Schools can offer being held in high regard.
  • Penning the Staffordshire Research School’s 2019 – 20 plan – outlining our plans for how we intend to provide evidence-informed support for schools across the Central & West region. 
  • Building capacity – Securing the best facilitators, with a wealth of knowledge, experience and credibility, for a broad and high quality support offer from the Staffordshire Research School. Just some of these areas include Secondary Literacy, Putting Evidence to Work, Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning and Improving Behaviour
  • Developing depth – Learning never stops – upskilling ourselves and our facilitators by attending EEF training, facilitated by a range of expert academics behind the guidance Reports and other established Research Schools. 
  • Constructing a training and support offer – including a range of Twilights, 1 day, 3 day and bespoke support sessions. Sign up below for more details. 
  • Marketing – to let colleagues across the west and east Midlands know who we are and mobilising the research and aims of the RSN and EEF. Things are moving rapidly and the new newsletter and training offer will be out soon. Examples of the work that research schools do can be found here.

Are we excited? You bet we are. There is a significant amount of traction in the application of research in schools and to be part of the horse power behind this is terrific. There may be potholes to traverse, and potential muddy waters along the way to navigate, but with the correct guidance and tools from the EEF, combined with effective implementation support from Research Schools, this is a great road to be on. If you would like to receive the most up to date research and evidence-based practice, blogs, resources, training and career development opportunities you can sign up for our FREE monthly newsletter here.

You can also follow the Staffordshire Research School at @JTStaffsRSch

Nathan Morland, Director of the Staffordshire Research School.

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