Self-Review Tool
For research engagement in schools and other education providers

A FREE online tool to help you review how research-engaged your school or college is, using eight key statements.

Self-review tool | Using the tool with your school improvement plan

About the tool

NFER has developed this Self-Review Tool as a free online resource for staff in schools and other educational organisations. It helps you to answer the question: 'how can engaging with research help my school to improve?' It enables you to review your school/organisation’s research engagement against eight key statements.

How it works

The tool adopts three simple steps:

  1. You review your school's stage of engagement against NFER's eight key statements
  2. We provide you with a chart and report, including suggested next steps
  3. We signpost you to resources (from NFER and elsewhere) to help with your action plan

The eight key statements have been developed by NFER researchers in collaboration with teachers and other education professionals to show what a research-engaged school/organisation looks like. The statements cover the following areas:


1) Leadership and vision

2) Learning and participation

3) Managing resources


4) Setting priorities

5) Rigorous methodology

6) Impact


7) Embedding and sustaining

8) Working collaboratively


There are two ways to use the Self-Review Tool:

So, why not try out the tool first using the Quick Review and then extend it to the Full Review when you want to do it more formally and widely?

Please note, this tool does not work on Internet Explorer 8 or earlier versions.

This tool can be used by schools, colleges, early years settings and training providers. The term 'school' is used generally to apply to all of these organisations for space-saving reasons.


I particuarly like the range of extra info provided to help support further action / development." Suzanne Culshaw, member of College Research Group, Impington Village College - Cambridgeshire


Self-review tool | Using the tool with your school improvement plan