First early years setting joins growing network of 23 Research Schools
In plans unveiled today by the Education Secretary Damian Hinds, an alliance of schools in Ipswich has won funding to boost the quality of teaching in the region through better use of research.
Highfield Nursery School - in collaboration with Kesgrave and Farlingaye teaching school alliance and Springfield Teaching School Alliance - will receive £200,000 over three years to become the Research School for the Ipswich region and the focal point of evidence-based practice.
Part of a joint initiative between the EEF and the Institute for Effective Education (IEE), and part-funded through the Government’s Opportunity Area programme, the new Research School will build networks between schools in the area and develop a programme of support and events to get more teachers using research evidence in ways that make a difference in the classroom.
Highfield will be the first early years setting to join a growing network of 23 Research Schools across the country, including in the other 11 Opportunity Areas. The first five Research Schools were announced in October 2016, with a second six established in January 2017 and a further 11 in July 2017.
Since then, they have delivered a wide range of activities nationally to help teachers to use research to improve their teaching. They include programmes to help schools make the most of teaching assistants, training to support literacy in the early years and an initiative to develop Research Leads to spearhead the use of evidence in the classroom. The Research Schools have also hosted conferences for schools in their areas and disseminated Research Schools Network newsletters, sent to thousands of teachers around the country.
Published today, the Ipswich Opportunity Area plan sets out a series of ambitious targets to improve outcomes for young people in the region. All the Opportunity Area delivery plans can be viewed here.
Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:
For years, the worlds of education research and classroom teaching have been too far apart. The EEF’s mission has been to make research more accessible to teachers through our Teaching and Learning Toolkit, teacher guidance reports and other resources.
Research Schools like Highfield are breaking down these barriers even more so that research doesn’t stay in the pages of academic journals but has a real impact on classroom practice. Putting teachers in the driving seat and making use of their practical experience and local insight can make all the difference.
Lil Newton, Strategic Director at Highfield Nursery School, added:
We’re delighted to be joining the Research Schools Network. This is a great opportunity to improve outcomes for all pupils in our region. Over the next three years we’ll work with local schools to break down barriers and make sure that evidence of ‘what works’ has a real impact on classroom practice.
Councillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, said:
We are thrilled to welcome a second Research School to Suffolk and the first Early Years setting to join the network nationally. Through our work with Evidence Based Education and the EEF’s Research Lead Programme, our Raising the Bar programme has contributed to the successful appointment of the Ipswich Research School.
The new research school will help to achieve our ambition to develop a community of teachers across Suffolk who are actively involved in using research to offer the best possible learning approaches and further improve outcomes for children in Suffolk, through the working relationships already established within the School to School Support Partnership and the Samuel Ward Research school.
Further information is available at the Research Schools website: www.researchschool.org.uk.
Notes to editors
1.The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is an independent 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. Institute for Effective Education (IEE) is an independent charity working closely with schools, school leaders, academy chains, other third sector organisations, and policy-makers to promote the use of research evidence to inform and improve education outcomes for all children, especially the most disadvantaged.
3.Ipswich is one of 12 Opportunity Areas that are developing plans to tackle social mobility and improve opportunities for young people. The full list of Opportunity Areas is as follows: Blackpool, Bradford, Derby, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich, North Yorkshire Coast, Norwich, Oldham, Stoke on Trent and West Somerset.
4.The first eleven Research Schools are:
- Aspirer Research School, based at Ash Grove Academy, Macclesfield
- Durrington Research School, Worthing
- Huntington Research School, York
- Kingsbridge Research School, Devon
- Kyra Research School, based at Mount Street Academy, Lincoln
- Meols Cop Research School, Southport
- Rosendale Research School, West Dulwich, London
- Samuel Ward Research School, Suffolk
- Sandringham Research School, St Albans
- Shireland Research School, Sandwell
- Shotton Hall Research School, Peterlee
The Research Schools in the other 11 Opportunity Areas are:
- Hastings Research School at Ark Blacklands Primary Academy
- Stoke-on-Trent Research School by Keele and North Staffordshire Alliance
- Norwich Research School at Notre Dame High School
- Oldham Research School by The Greetland Academy
- Blackpool Research School at St Mary's Catholic Academy
- Doncaster Research School by Partners in Learning
- Scarborough Research School by Esk Valley Alliance
- Derby Research School at Wyndham Primary
- West Somerset Research School at The Blue School, Wells
- Bradford Research School at Dixons Academies
- East Cambridgeshire and Fenlands Research School at Littleport CP School