Teaching schools: national research and development network
- National College for Teaching and Leadership
- Part of:
- Teaching schools and system leadership: how you can get involved and Teaching and school leadership
- First published:
- 3 September 2014
How to use research and development to support school improvement in your teaching school alliance through better teaching and learning practices.
The national research and development network makes research more accessible to schools. It supports teaching school alliances to engage in research and development activities with their higher education institution partners and in regional and national networks.
It undertakes research with schools on priority topics and themes agreed by teaching schools. This will provide:
- a practical understanding of how to address the important issues facing teaching schools
- an evidence base which can contribute to school improvement and practice
Closing the gap: test and learn
This project tested school and classroom approaches to improving pupil attainment.
Over 200 teaching schools alliances worked together to carry out 11 large-scale randomised controlled trials, where 1 group of pupils is taught using a new method and another group is taught in the usual way and their performance compared. Some schools went on to design and run their own smaller trials using similar experimental research methods.
The Closing the gap: test and learn research was published in January 2016 and provides schools with evidence of what works in closing the attainment gap for disadvantaged pupils.
More public services are using evidence-based approaches to improve practice.
In this project 20 teaching schools are developing their expertise in evidence-based teaching. They are exploring different approaches to embedding it within their schools and across their alliances.
Participant schools will:
- produce materials to support other schools
- identify promising approaches that may warrant further robust and rigorous testing and evaluation
We will publish a report in summer 2016.
Research and development network themes
The network agreed 3 national themes for their research activities in autumn 2011. Teaching school alliances have agreed and pursued their own particular focus within a theme. They work with a national research team alongside their own university partner. They are also aligning with and contributing to the work of other alliances under the same theme.
Theme 1: What makes great pedagogy?
The literature review What makes great pedagogy? Nine claims from research explores this theme. Areas of particular interest are:
- aspiration and pupil motivation
- student voice
- engagement for learning
- pupil improvement partners
- teaching strategies to close gaps
- dialogic teaching
Theme 2: What makes great professional development which leads to consistently great pedagogy?
Great professional development which leads to great pedagogy: nine claims from research explores this theme. It looks at:
- how the system can ensure there is reciprocal learning in teacher-to-teacher support
- how we can build capacity for joint practice development (JPD) within and between schools?
Theme 3: How can leaders lead successful teaching school alliances which enable the development of consistently great pedagogy?
Leadership of great pedagogy in teaching school alliances: evidence from the literature centred around this theme. It concentrates on:
- exploring the leadership needed to bring about sustaining great teaching and great professional development
- minimising variation across an alliance of schools
Research and development network: school-based research on pedagogy final reports and case studies.
Joint practice development
The research in this project looked at the benefits of joint practice development (often abbreviated to JPD). It can be a more effective and cheaper way of schools supporting the mutual learning of teachers, students and others.
- what joint practice development is
- what joint practice development can do
- the role of school leaders in enhancing its value in improving school outcomes
Closing the gap: how system leaders and schools can work together
This project looked at what interventions are successful in closing attainment gaps in schools supported by a national leader of education (NLE) or teaching school. Organised into regional clusters, they examined how to support:
- other schools to close gaps in attainment
- the progress of pupils eligible for free school meals
The partnership with the NLE or teaching school had, in some cases, resulted in significant improvements. For example:
- a stronger understanding of rates of pupil progress
- how to better support targeted pupils
- a raising of the profile of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds
Closing the gap: how system leaders and schools can work together summarises the outcomes, impact and learning from this research for system leaders.
Beyond levels: alternative assessment approaches developed by teaching schools
This project explored alternative assessment systems to meet the needs of the new curriculum. 34 teaching schools undertook school-based enquiry within their alliance schools.
The report looks at different assessment tools to support and capture progress such as visible learning approaches and mastery statements.
Beyond levels: alternative assessment approaches developed by teaching schools gives school leaders recommendations and tools to use when considering their own systems.
Closing the gap with the new primary national curriculum
This project investigated how the best schools ensure they continue to close the gap as they implement the new primary national curriculum.
Closing the gap with the new primary national curriculum identifies the elements of good practice which are influential in closing the gap in children’s attainment. Primary schools will be able to use the findings, tools and recommendations to tackle their own attainment gaps.
Research is one of the priority areas for teaching schools.
Research and development
Published: 3 September 2014