A project enabling schools to engage with educational research

Supporting schools to become research rich

Louise Bamfield, RSA, Lorna Owen, Holyhead School and Mat Carpenter from RSA Academy, Tipton have been involved with developing an amazing research resource, Research Rich Schools. This is for everyone interested in research; whether getting started, going a bit further with research or fulling integrating a research culture within school.

The RSA Academies Teaching School Alliance was chosen to coordinate the project by the National College for Teaching and Leadership, working with 14 other TSAs from across the country who came together in February and March this year to develop a framework and set of resources.

Research Rich Schools was launched at the researchED conference for research leads in Brighton on 18 April 2015 and was featured at the researchED conference in New York on 02 May 2015, as well as being featured on the Teaching Schools Council website.  The goal of supporting every school (and nursery and college) to become research rich is at the heart of this new project.

Research Rich Schools is a new website and toolkit offering ideas and practical support for school leaders and teachers wanting to getting started or take the next step with R&D. It was developed by 15 teaching school alliances from every part of the country, coordinated by the RSA Academies, who came together in February and March this year to develop a framework and set of resources.

‘Not reinventing the wheel’ is one of the project’s guiding principles: we all know how time-wasting it can be for teachers to have to start from scratch when there are existing tools and resources out there that they don’t yet know about.  The aim of Research Rich Schools is to help make these connections and save teachers and school leaders precious time so that they can get on with the task of using research to enhance teaching and learning.

The website offers schools at different stages of development – ‘emerging’, ‘expanding’ and ‘embedding’ – a set of resources to help them get started or take the next step.  Each section offers:

  • A tool to diagnose where you are in relation to R&D, where you want to be and the steps needed to get there
  • Ideas and suggestions on different research roles and activities, including appointing and growing your own research leaders, working with a critical friend to set priorities, forming a research team or enquiry group, running and evaluating research projects and embedding a culture of collaborative enquiry in the school and beyond
  • Case studies giving examples of how schools and alliances are using research and enquiry to enhance teaching and learning
  • Top tips, advice and suggestions for taking the next step towards becoming a research rich school

Developing a research rich culture of enquiry, innovation & evaluation can’t be achieved over the night, but takes time, patience and perseverance. In the same spirit, it is worth stressing that the website, framework and toolkit are a work in progress.

Research Rich Schools would love to hear from you about what works well and what can be improved, so do get in touch to share your comments and suggestions or, alternatively, visit the website for more information.


Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash.

Schools involved:

Project details:

Date Started April 2015
Date Finished July 2017
Project Funder National College for Teaching and Leadership