New Research School appointed

Posted on 19 January 2018

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-funded through the Government’s Opportunity Area programme and part of a joint initiative between the Education Endowment Foundation and the IEE, 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.

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

“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, said:

“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.”