Teachers often try out innovative teaching practices with their pupils. Sometimes these are approaches that the teachers have developed themselves, either alone or in collaboration with colleagues in their school. Sometimes they are untested approaches created by other teachers. Sometimes they are adaptations of approaches that have been proven to work elsewhere, which the teachers may have altered to meet the needs of their pupils. However the ideas have developed, without robust evaluation it is not possible to tell whether the new approach is more effective than what it has replaced. By carrying out an evaluation, you can better understand:
- The likely impact of the new approach for the pupils in your school.
- What helped teachers implement the approach, as well as potential barriers to implementation.
The purpose of this document is to support schools in planning and carrying out robust evaluations of practice as part of an evidence-informed approach to school improvement. Before you can carry out an evaluation you need to have a new approach to evaluate, so the guide starts by describing how to identify the issue you wish to address and how to use existing evidence to choose an approach to address this issue. It then describes how to plan and carry out an impact evaluation before providing a framework for analysing results and drawing conclusions.