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Research School Network: Reflections from Research Leads in Training

Reflections from Research Leads in Training

by Unity Research School
on the

The final two days of the Research Leads Programme, a collaboration between the Suffolk School to School Support Partnership, SWA Trust Research School and Evidence Based Education, were thought provoking and inspiring as the team explored the essentials of implementation and evaluation.

Under the expert guidance of Dr Stuart Kime and Sinead Flinders of Evidence Based Education we looked in more detail at the processes and practices involved in successful implementation and evaluating (both impact and process)

evaluating impact – what happened”

evaluating process – how did it happen”

Future posts will share our learning and the specific elements associated with successful implementation and effective evaluation.

In this post, it’s over to the participant’s and their reflections of the programme and their professional learning:

This programme has completely changed my approach to my decision making. It has empowered me to feel confident in the choices that I am making in my teaching through using evidence as the basis for these choices.

Kathryn Smith, Parkside Academy

Participating in this programme has made me question the basis on which we make decisions in schools and has reinforced to me the responsibility we have to make evidence-informed decisions through carrying out high quality context based research. As teachers given the right guidance which this course provides, we are absolutely the right people to be doing this research.

Susan McBurney, Assistant Headteacher, Debenham High School

The sessions this week have shown me just how key effective evaluation is – we need to critically review evidence presented to us as well as recognising the true impact of what we deliver in school.

Louise Everitt, Deputy Headteacher, Springfield Junior School

Instead of rushing to implement a new teaching strategy or intervention across a cohort as I have done in the past, I now have the skills to be able to evaluate whether it’s likely to be effective first.

Julia Farrow, Head of English, Debenham High School

The Research Lead Programme has been stimulating CPD and importantly will have a significant impact on the way I work in the future. Planning for and evaluating the impact of SEND interventions will be so much more effective as a result of this valuable professional learning.

Rosie Smithson, SEND Lead, Samuel Ward Academy Trust

This Research Lead training has been very powerful. It has given me the confidence to trial alternative curriculum in the knowledge that our findings will be robust and valid. It has made me more reflective and the support from Stuart and others in the group has been, and will continue to be invaluable.

Sally Swann, Heateacher, Parkside Academy

Undertaking this professional learning has made me have a more analytical approach as well as the confidence to challenge perceived wisdom and existing practice. I believe that research is our future …”

Eileen Allpress, West Ipswich Teaching School Alliance

The Research Support Partnership we created has enabled us to be involved with school leaders and teachers who are driven by a passion to understand how to evaluate effectively, take risks and improve outcomes for children in Suffolk schools. 

Maria Hough, School to School Support Partnership, Suffolk County Council

I’ve learned that research in education is a powerful tool for teachers, but only once they’re trained and supported to use it.

Stuart Kime, Evidence Based Education

Thanks to all for the involvement, commitment and energy that characterised this superb collaborative professional learning.

So where does the cake fit in? Why the featured image?

Well, analogy is a powerful tool in learning and no more so when the analogy is brought to life. Enter Maria Hough’s freshly baked, delicious Victoria Sponge on day two in response to Stuart’s powerpoint slide of a huge cake on the previous day … all in aid of supporting the notion of active ingredients’ within an implementation. Thanks Maria!

Here’s to the continued evolution of Suffolk’s pioneering Research Leads!

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