EEF announces new addition to the research schools network

Cumbrian school secures funding to boost the quality of teaching in the region

Ashfield Junior School in Workington has been selected to form the Cumbrian Research School, joining the Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) network of 27 Research Schools and 10 Associate Research Schools across England. Their main objective will be to establish new partnerships with local schools and provide effective guidance by promoting and exemplifying evidence-based practice.

The appointment of a new Research School in Cumbria will support an ambitious partnership with all Cumbrian schools, so that they are able to access training and support based on the best available evidence. They will become part of the Research Schools Network, working to support schools in applying evidence-informed recommendations in their approach to improving their pupils’ outcomes.

Ashfield Junior School will receive funding until the end of the academic year 2022-23, to support local schools in Allerdale, Copeland and across Cumbria. This will consist of a core annual grant of £40,000 to cover leadership time, staff development and deployment for delivering training in order to support evidence-led practice in the local region.

The newly designated Cumbrian Research School will be supported by Western Excellence in Learning and Leadership (WELL), a transformational education project, developed by Cumbria County Council and school system leaders and funded by Sellafield Ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

The school will provide effective guidance to others locally, promoting and exemplifying evidence-based teaching practice whilst also working towards WELL’s specific goals for educational improvement in the region. These centre around raising standards, closing the attainment gap for disadvantaged children, and improving pupil wellbeing. The EEF will be accountable for the development, support and quality assurance of the work of the Research School.

The new Research School will also build on work in the region previously undertaken by Cumbria Associate Research School (CARS) - a collaboration between Cockermouth School and West Lakes Academy.

Professor Becky Francis, CEO of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:

"It has never been more important to assist schools in engaging with evidence to inform their approaches to teaching and learning. The appointment of a new Research School will be a valuable source of support for others in the region, as they strive to meet the needs of their students in the wake of the pandemic.

“This latest addition to the EEF’s Research Schools Network constitutes an exciting opportunity for schools in Cumbria to establish new connections, through which they will be able to share expertise and access practical tools, with the view to raising the attainment of all of their pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  1. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is a grant-making charity set up in 2011 by the Sutton Trust as lead foundation in partnership with Impetus Trust (now part of Impetus–The Private Equity Foundation), with a £125m founding grant from the Department for Education. The EEF is dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement.
  2. More about the existing Research Schools can be found here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/scaling-up-evidence/research-schools/