11 January 2017
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. Research and development or ‘R&D’ forms one of their six key areas of responsibility, often referred to as the ‘big six’.
This report seeks to explore the effectiveness with which teaching schools are delivering their R&D responsibilities. It provides new insights based on an analysis of a survey of 83 teaching schools and a comparison group of 80 outstanding schools.
Andrew Warren, Chair of the Teaching Schools Council, has welcomed the NFER report. You can read his response here.
- 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.
- 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.