Evidence for the Frontline (E4F) is an online brokerage service designed to provide teachers and school leaders with timely access to relevant evidence on supporting young people’s learning. It was developed by Sandringham School and the Institute for Effective Education (IEE) at The University of York, with support from the Coalition for Evidence Based Education (CEBE).
Teachers and school leaders develop their own questions about improving teaching and learning and post them on the online platform. An online broker then matches the question to an academic researcher for a response; or signposts the teachers to relevant published evidence and answers already provided by the service. In some cases the broker supports the user to frame their question most effectively before passing it on. Examples of the research questions included: ‘Are there any studies that set out to explicitly explore the influence that inter-school collaboration has on student outcomes?’; and ‘Is there any evidence to suggest that students perform better if their Science teacher is teaching within their Science specialism up to Key Stage 4?’
After a development phase, involving representatives from 12 schools, the service was delivered as a pilot in 32 schools (14 primary, 16 secondary and 2 special schools) between September 2015 and July 2016. The aim of the evaluation was to establish: whether the intervention is feasible to deliver; whether it has promise in terms of changing teacher attitudes and behaviour; and whether the service is suitable for evaluation in a randomised controlled trial.