A number of Teaching School Alliance partner and strategic partner schools took part in a National College for Teaching and Leadership research and development project focussed on closing the attainment gap. School-based research will be carried out during the academic years 2013-14 and 2014-15, with a final report on the scheme published in December 2015.
The National College and commissioned partners worked with schools and teachers to establish the research methods that were used and the allocations of intervention and control groups. Partners, including higher education institutions, were commissioned to provide training in research methods and assist with the selection of interventions for testing.
Involvement in the project has raised Heads' and Senior Leaders' interest and involvement in evidence-based research and joint practice development. It was particularly timely, as more Alliance schools are becoming involved in the BEP peer review model, a key part of which is the focus on evidence-based practice and CPD for staff. In a wider sense, as an Alliance we have benefitted from a number of our schools having the opportunity to trial interventions as part of a national project and in a controlled way, thus comparing results from a larger sample of schools across the country, backed up by the quality assurance of the research base to the work.
Key messages from the two years of the project were reported to all partner schools. Additionally, those schools which took part in the project can now act as advocates or 'champions' for particular interventions, providing advice or hosting visits for other schools interested in finding out more about the intervention and its impact prior to potentially investing in the approach.