Research & School Improvement services

Improving performance, engagement and achievement with teaching and learning

Enquiring Schools

Evidence-based teacher development and school improvement


What schools think

The Enquiring Schools programme helps by focusing on what really matters – learning in the classroom.

All-through school

The Girls’ Day School Trust

Brilliant - just the right mix of encouragement and guidance.
Will Wareing, Deputy Director, Education


Fallibroome Academy, National Teaching School

Action research allows teachers to develop what they are doing on the job so they are trialling new initiatives through their teaching. And we feel that it’s going to bring about change.
Claire Burstow, Assistant Principal

The fact that I had a focus and there was something to try and improve on specifically had a knock on effect on the rest of my teaching and I felt I’d improved all round.
Phil Kennedy, Music teacher

Rosebery School

Rosebery embarked on the NFER Enquiring Schools programme, helping them to embed research practice and focus on some key goals. Thereafter, they applied for the NFER Research Mark and were successfully accredited and presented with their award. They stated:

The Enquiring Schools Programme with NFER has really helped staff at our school to focus on one clear aspect of their pedagogy and really invest time in refining their practice. They have enjoyed the process enormously and the support from the NFER has really helped them to sharpen their thinking".
Mrs Chrissy Ford - Assistant Headteacher

Wilmington Grammar School for Girls

Wilmington, the first school to receive the NFER Research Mark, describe their research-based approach to CPD

I know students have benefitted from their teachers finding things out, sharing and discussing knowledge.
Sue Hunt, Deputy Head

Download case study

Accrington Academy

Bringing research a-LIVE

Find out how Accrington Academy motivated students to be co-constructors of their own learning

Chesham Grammar School

In short, it was excellent - the view from that the teachers is that they thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it very worthwhile! So thank you very much!.
Tim Patteson, Assistant Headteacher

Lexden Springs School, Colchester

The NFER Enquiring Schools Programme has given the teachers in our school a consistent framework upon which they can develop and share their research projects.
Lucy MacNaughtan, Teacher

Case study


Oasis Innovation Teaching School Alliance

See how Oasis TSA are using the Enquiring Schools programme to bring their outstanding school leaders together to learn more about how they can use research and enquiry for school improvement.

Case study

Brooklands Farm Primary School, Milton Keynes

 We believe that action research is at the heart of powerful learning for teachers. The support from NFER has made all the difference to us through the Enquiring Schools Programme.
Katie Sutherland, Head of School

Case study

Paget Primary School

By using these methods we empowered teachers to use research in a way that was of practical use to them in the classroom.
Carole Thomas, Assistant Headteacher

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The Grove Academy

I chose the Enquiring Schools programme because I know that engaging in action research works by encouraging teachers to seize control of their own learning. It also has a really big impact on children's attainment. I like the Enquiring Schools resources, they're really accessible, and the facilitator has been superb.
Anne Heywood, Headteacher




Read their staff feedback

On reflection, the project with NFER has changed my view of teaching. It made me stop and think about what I'm doing and to look at current research. I've been teaching a long time and it's easy to get locked into a routine. The programme has opened me up to try out new things.
Dawn Hanwell, Year 6 Teacher

Springmead Primary

I think the benefit of the Enquiring Schools programme is the professional development it has given to our staff. It has really enthused them in a way that some forms of professional development don't... because what we've been looking at is what matters most to them in the classroom.
Judith Sumner, Headteacher

Read their staff feedback