The Open Door: How to be a Research-Sensitive School

This report is based on interviews with two sets of teachers – those whose schools were hosting a Research School and those who had run small-scale evaluation projects. From the interviews, we learned how both groups were trying to put education research into practice.

The report describes the research-sensitive school which has created a culture and framework that allows teachers to focus on teaching and learning. Teachers are reflective practitioners, working alone and with others to develop their practice with innovation, research evidence, and evaluation.

It describes how this is reflected in the culture and practices of the school, and by a matrix of structures and approaches that support the implementation of evidence-based practice. It considers the role that innovation and evaluation play, and particularly the current under-emphasis on evaluation.

Finally, it considers the context, the wider environment, in which the research-sensitive school sits, and some of the challenges this creates.