Research to support those who lead and manage the system

There have been major changes for those who lead in the education and children’s services systems in recent years, especially as these two areas have become integrated, and NFER has sought not only to monitor and evaluate these changes, but also to actively offer theoretical and practical support to these leaders. We have carried out projects for a range of organisations in order to evaluate their leadership programmes (with ‘leadership’ defined at a variety of levels) and to make recommendations about next steps.

Prime examples of such work include the NFER’s involvement as a core partner in C4EO, the Centre for Excellence in Outcomes for Children and Young People’s Services, and our contributions to LARC, the Local Authority Research Consortium, which involves 30 local authorities, and examines how the Common assessment Framework process can support the achievement of better outcomes for children and young people?

We also examined in detail the contribution that local authorities can make to school improvement. There have also been projects on particular leadership programmes, such as the national evaluation of the Primary Leadership Programme, and on particular dimensions of school leadership, such as using ICT and dealing with school inspections, as well as studies on the role of lead council members and school governors. One recent study compared change management in the schools sector with similar processes in the police, health and social services sectors, and found that the challenges faced by leaders in all these public sectors can be very similar.

Relevant research projects

Empowering young people pilots
Client: DCSF | NFER Contact: Sarah Golden

Evaluation of the Chemistry for Non-Specialists training programme
Client: Royal Society of Chemistry | NFER Contact: Megan Jones

Evaluation of the impact of Section 5 inspections - strand 3
Client: Ofsted | NFER Contact: Tami McCrone

Evaluation of the implementation and impact of Diplomas
Client: DCSF | NFER Contact: Sarah Golden

Evaluation of the Youth Opportunity Fund and the Youth Capital Fund
Client: DfES | NFER Contact: Marian Morris

Local authorities and school improvement: the use of statutory powers
Client: LGA | NFER Contact: Avril Keating

Mapping the terrain: 16-19 funding transfer
Client: LGA | NFER Contact: Tami McCrone

Mentoring and coaching for professionals: a study of the research evidence
Client: TDA | NFER Contact: Pippa Lord

National census of local authority councillors 2008
Client: LGA | NFER Contact: Sarah Golden

Research and analysis on the changing role and influence of senior support staff in schools
Client: The National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services | NFER Contact: Matthew Walker

Research into support staff experiences of training and development
Client: TDA | NFER Contact: David Teeman

The role of the end-user in planning Children's Services
Client: LGECSRP | NFER Contact: Karen Halsey

The role of the Lead Member for Children's Services
Client: LGA | NFER Contact: Kay Kinder

School inspections - international literature review
Client: CfBT Education Trust | NFER Contact: Peter Rudd

School leadership and school information and communication technology: a literature review
Client: National College for School Leadership | NFER Contact: Peter Rudd

Smoothing the transition to specialist teaching of the sciences
Client: Gatsby Charitable Foundation | NFER Contact: Marian Morris

Supporting local authorities to develop their research capacity
Client: LGECSRP | NFER Contact: Claire Easton

Current and recent projects | Reports and publications | What we offer for schools