Call for research evidence to be made more accessible to practitioners
11 January 2017
New NFER analysis has identified that there is more the research community can to do to address challenges facing teaching schools in delivering research and development (R&D).This is one of the findings that emerged from an analysis of 83 teaching schools and a comparison group of 80 outstanding schools.
The new report titled, Insights into the Role of Research and Development in Teaching Schools by the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER), explores the effectiveness with which teaching schools are delivering their R&D responsibilities.
Teaching schools are outstanding schools that work with strategic partners, such as universities and private sector organisations, to provide high-quality training and development to new and to experienced school staff. R&D forms one of their six key areas of responsibility, often referred to as the ‘big six’.
Key findings are:
- There is evidence to suggest that R&D is becoming increasingly embedded within the other areas of the big six, and particularly within school-led initial teacher training (ITT) and continuing professional development (CPD).
- Despite this, many teaching school alliances (TSAs) report that R&D is treated as an ‘add-on’ and is considered less important compared to other concerns.
- Many TSAs report engaging ‘to a great extent’ in producing evidence-informed outputs and yet do not appear to prioritise the development of their staff’s research literacy to the same degree.
- There are many challenges facing TSAs in delivering R&D including the long time it can take to show the impact of R&D and the fact there is still a need to build an expectation for teaching as an evidence-based profession.
- Respondents report that research organisations like NFER can help to overcome some of the challenges identified. This includes the suggestion that research organisations can do more to make the findings from research evidence more accessible to practitioners.
- There is evidence to suggest that teaching school status does not necessarily enhance an individual teaching school’s level of research activity, as measured by selected R&D indicators, relative to other Ofsted-category outstanding schools.