Press release

New scheme is the mark of quality research

9 September 2013

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has launched a new quality mark to recognise schools, colleges and early years settings that carry out their own research to enhance teaching and learning.

The NFER Research Mark has been developed in response to growing recognition of the value of practitioner-led research among education experts and professionals. The scheme was officially unveiled at this year’s ResearchEd 2013 Conference, held last weekend at Dulwich College, where it was warmly welcomed by delegates.

The NFER Research Mark endorses the efforts of those who have demonstrated a commitment to practitioner-led research, and encourages others to undertake enquiry to improve practice. It forms part of a wider programme by NFER in its charitable purpose to help early years settings, schools and colleges build capacity to do their own research and share their learning.

Face-to-face feedback and a report from an NFER research associate with practical experience in research engagement, helps leaders to develop improvement plans. Of particular relevance to Teaching Schools investing in R&D, the NFER Research Mark gives structure to a schools’ research programme.

A simple, online application process asks for evidence of research matched against 10 criteria (based on the school as an enquiring learning community, improved teaching and learning and impact on pupils and young people). An NFER researcher then visits applicants to witness their research in action, giving feedback and a report with recommendations on how to use research to improve practice and outcomes for children. If the criteria are met to experts’ satisfaction, the NFER Research Mark is awarded with a certificate to publicise the applicant’s achievement.

For more information see /m13b.


Contact information
Sarah Fleming, NFER Media & Communications Officer: 01753 637155;
Jane Parrack, NFER Marketing & Communications Manager: 01753 637245;

Note to editors
The NFER Research Mark is valid for three years, and is open to all education settings in England. This includes: early years settings; primary schools; secondary schools; sixth form colleges; FE colleges; independent schools; free schools; special needs schools; PRUs.

The NFER Research Mark is supported by: Association of Colleges; ATL; Education Journal; EYE; Headteacher Update; Institute for Learning; NAHT; National College for Teaching and Leadership; NUT; SecEd; 157 Group.

The NFER Futurelab Enquiring Schools programme also works towards the NFER Research Mark.

The NFER Research Mark costs £50 (+ VAT) to register which includes the welcome pack and £750 (+VAT) to apply which includes the researcher visit, report and recommendations as well as the certificate logo and electronic case study. Part of NFER’s charitable purpose is to help build capacity for schools to do their own research. The price of registration and application covers the administrative cost of the programme and the researcher time to visit, report and recommend.