Six schools across the country win share of £1.2m funding to help improve quality of teaching

Six schools – including in Southport, Lambeth and Suffolk – will break down barriers between teachers and academics in a bid to boost the quality of teaching in their region as they join a growing network of Research Schools across the country, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Institute for Effective Education (IEE) announced today.

The new Research Schools - which will each receive £200,000 in funding over three years – will become focal points of evidence-based practice in their region and build networks between large numbers of schools. They’ll develop a programme of support and events to get more teachers using research evidence in ways that make a difference in the classroom.

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

  • Meols Cop High School, Southport
  • Samuel Ward Academy Trust, Haverhill, Suffolk
  • Rosendale Primary School , Lambeth, London
  • The Academy at Shotton Hall, Peterlee, County Durham
  • Sandringham School, St Albans, Hertfordshire
  • Durrington High School, Worthing, West Sussex

The first five Research Schools were announced in October 2016. 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 backing to develop Research School leads. They’ve also hosted conferences for schools in their area and put together monthly Research Schools Network newsletters, sent to 3000 teachers around the country.

In addition, the IEE have awarded the first innovation evaluation grants to schools working alongside their local Research Schools. The projects being funded include evaluations of innovations designed to develop pupil vocabulary, increase pupil resilience and improve feedback to students.

In January, the Education Secretary announced funding for a Research School in all 12 ‘opportunity area’, regions of England where social mobility is low. They will be announced later this year.

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 has been making research more accessible to teachers through our Teaching and Learning Toolkit. Research Schools 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 can make all the difference.

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

We have been very impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm of first five Research Schools to using research evidence to enhance teaching and learning. The six new schools show every indication that they will contribute considerably to the growing Research Schools network. These schools will improve outcomes for children around the country

Kate Atkins, Head of Rosendale Primary School, said:

This is a great opportunity to bridge the gap between research and practice. Schools share a common desire to improve outcomes for all children and to use evidence to inform our decisions about how to do this. The evidence of what works is out there, now we need to get it embedded in our classroom practice.

1.The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is a 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. Since its launch the EEF has awarded £80 million to 133 projects working with over 850,000 pupils in over 8,300 schools across England. The EEF and Sutton Trust are, together, the government-designated What Works Centre for Education.

2.The 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.The first five Research Schools 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