St Mary’s Catholic Academy Blackpool is one of eleven schools to have won funding to boost the quality of teaching in their region through better use of research.
The new Research Schools – part-funded through the Government’s Opportunity Areas programme and part of a joint initiative between the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Institute for Effective Education (IEE) - were unveiled by the Education Secretary Justine Greening at a summit hosted by the Sutton Trust today.
St Mary’s will receive £200,000 over three years to become the focal point of evidence-based practice in Blackpool and build networks between large numbers of schools. They’ll develop a programme of support and events to get more teachers using research evidence in ways that make a difference in the classroom.
The 11 new Research Schools, appointed following a competitive application process, are:
- Hastings Research School at Ark Blacklands Primary Academy
- Stoke-on-Trent Research School by The Keele and North Staffordshire Alliance
- Norwich Research School at Notre Dame High School
- Oldham Research School by The Greetland Academy
- Blackpool Research School at St Mary's Catholic Academy
- Doncaster Research School by Partners in Learning
- Scarborough Research School by Esk Valley Alliance
- Derby Research School at Wyndham Primary
- West Somerset Research School at The Blue School, Wells
- Bradford Research School at Dixons Academies
- East Cambridgeshire and Fenlands Research School at Littleport CP School
St Mary’s will join a growing network of Research Schools across the country. The first five were announced in October 2016, with a second six established in January 2017.
Since then, they have delivered a wide range of activities nationally to help teachers to use research to improve their teaching. They include programmes to help schools make the most of teaching assistants, training to support literacy in the early years and backing to develop Research School leads to spearhead the use of evidence in the classroom. They’ve also hosted conferences for schools in their area and put together monthly Research Schools Network newsletters, sent to 3000 teachers around the country.
Justine Greening also announced today that Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the EEF, would become ‘Evidence Champion’ for the Opportunity Areas. He will support the regions, including Blaackpool to better use evidence to improve outcomes and social mobility prospects for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged homes.
Education Secretary Justine Greening said:
"Teachers are key to making sure that young people can reach their potential, regardless of where they start in life, so helping the profession be the best it can be will help tackle social mobility. By gathering evidence on what works in the classroom and sharing the best practice with teachers we can help to level up the opportunities for every pupil. These Research Schools will accelerate the work that is already underway in our Opportunity Areas and as our 'Evidence Champion', I know that Sir Kevan will look to share these learnings with teachers across the country."
Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and Chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:
“I’m delighted that Kevan is to become ‘Evidence Champion’. Under his leadership the Education Endowment Foundation has changed the landscape of education research in England. No one is better placed to support and inspire schools to use research to improve outcomes for their pupils.”
Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, added:
“We know that there are big differences in social mobility across the country. Reaching those ‘coldspots’ is one of the biggest challenges we face in our drive to improve social mobility.
“Evidence of ‘what works’ is one of our most useful tools to do this. I’m looking forward to getting started as ‘Evidence Champion’ and bringing this to bear in these areas that need it most. By working with local partners, schools and organisations, we have the potential to really make a difference.
“The new Research Schools will be crucial. They’ll help to break down barriers so that research doesn’t stay in the pages of academic journals but has a real impact on classroom practice. Putting teachers in the driving seat can make all the difference.”
Professor Bette Chambers, Director at the Institute for Effective Education, said:
“We have been very impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm of the first eleven Research Schools to using research evidence to enhance teaching and learning. The new Research Schools show similar enthusiasm and will contribute considerably to the growing Research Schools Network.
“By supporting schools in their areas, and bridging the gap between research and practice, they will help to improve outcomes for children across the country.”
Simon Eccles. Headteacher at St Mary’s said:
“We are delighted to be selected as a research school within Blackpool. We have always worked hard to develop our use of evidence to improve our teaching in the classroom and to help teachers have maximum impact. This has resulted in positive outcomes for our students in terms of progress and attainment data backed up by our recent good OFSTED rating. We are looking forwards to being able to further develop this work and to support colleagues from across the area in placing research evidence at the heart of developing practice to improve outcomes for young people across Blackpool.”
Research School Website: www.researchschool.org.uk
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is a grant-making charity set up in 2011 by the Sutton Trust as lead foundation in partnership with Impetus Trust (now part of Impetus–The Private Equity Foundation), with a £125m founding grant from the Department for Education. The EEF is dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement. Since its launch the EEF has awarded £89.4 million to test the impact of 145 projects reaching more than 970,000 children and young people in over 9,400 schools, nurseries and colleges across England. The EEF and Sutton Trust are, together, the government-designated What Works Centre for Education.
- The Institute for Effective Education (IEE) is an independent charity working closely with schools, school leaders, academy chains, other third sector organisations, and policy-makers to promote the use of research evidence to inform and improve education outcomes for all children, especially the most disadvantaged.
- The EEF and the IEE have not appointed a Research School in Ipswich, the twelfth Opportunity Area. They will reopen the applications in Autumn and continue to work with schools in the region to support high quality applications.
- The first eleven Research Schools are:
- AspirerResearch School, based at Ash Grove Academy, Macclesfield
- DurringtonResearch School, Worthing
- HuntingtonResearch School, York
- KingsbridgeResearch School, Devon
- KyraResearch School, based at Mount Street Academy, Lincoln
- MeolsCop Research School, Southport
- RosendaleResearch School, West Dulwich, London
- SamuelWard Research School, Suffolk
- SandringhamResearch School, St Albans
- ShirelandResearch School, Sandwell
- ShottonHall Research School, Peterlee