Justine Greening unveils new EEF/IEE Research Schools at the Social Mobility Summit

Posted on 12 July 2017

Eleven schools to support social mobility ‘coldspots’ – including in Bradford, Blackpool and Norwich – have won funding to boost the quality of teaching in their region through better use of research.

The new Research Schools – part-funded through the Government’s Opportunity Areas programme and part of a joint initiative between the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Institute for Effective Education (IEE) – were unveiled by the Education Secretary Justine Greening at a summit hosted by the Sutton Trust today.

The schools will each receive £200,000 over three years to 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 11 new Research Schools, appointed following a competitive application process, are:

  • Hastings Research School at Ark Blacklands Primary Academy
  • Stoke-on-Trent Research School by The 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

The schools will join a growing network of Research Schools across the country. The first five were announced in October 2016, with a second six established in January 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 backing to develop Research School leads to spearhead the use of evidence in the classroom. 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.

Justine Greening also announced today that Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the EEF, will become ‘Evidence Champion’ for the Opportunity Areas. He will support the regions to better use evidence to improve outcomes and social mobility prospects for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged homes.

Justine Greening, Education Secretary, said: 

“Teachers are key to making sure that young people can reach their potential, regardless of where they start in life, so helping the profession be the best it can be will help tackle social mobility. By gathering evidence on what works in the classroom and sharing the best practice with teachers we can help to level up the opportunities for every pupil.

“These Research Schools will accelerate the work that is already underway in our Opportunity Areas and as our ‘Evidence Champion’, I know that Sir Kevan will look to share these learnings with teachers across the country.”

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

“We have been very impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm of the first eleven Research Schools to using research evidence to enhance teaching and learning. The new Research Schools show similar enthusiasm and will contribute considerably to the growing Research Schools Network.

“By supporting schools in their areas, and bridging the gap between research and practice, they will help to improve outcomes for children across the country.”

Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, added:

“We know that there are big differences in social mobility across the country. Reaching those ‘coldspots’ is one of the biggest challenges we face in our drive to improve social mobility.

“Evidence of ‘what works’ is one of our most useful tools to do this. I’m looking forward to getting started as ‘Evidence Champion’ and bringing this to bear in these areas that need it most. By working with local partners, schools and organisations, we have the potential to really make a difference.

“The new Research Schools will be crucial. They’ll help to break down barriers 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.”

Research Schools Website: researchschool.org.uk