Understanding the challenges for evidence-informed school improvement support

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The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is developing a tailored support package for schools that face challenges raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils. The support package will be delivered by EEF and the Research Schools Network. Initially, it will be developed and piloted in schools in the North East and North West regions of England.

To support the development and roll out of this support package, the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has been commissioned by EEF to undertake an exploratory analysis of the current challenges faced by such schools in raising attainment. The study will also explore schools’ ‘readiness’ to engage with external support on evidence-informed approaches to school improvement, including the conditions that are necessary to support this.

The research is being undertaken between January 2019 and October 2019 and will involve:

  • an expert review of the school improvement literature and activities in the pilot regions
  • telephone interviews with 24 system leaders in the pilot areas and other areas of England
  • telephone interviews with 50 headteachers in schools in the pilot areas
  • in-depth case studies in 20 schools in the pilot areas
  • a roundtable discussion with school improvement stakeholders.