Going further with R&D

If you are a school or alliance with prior experience of research and are now ready to go further, this section offers suggestions for growing research communities within your school and beyond, and deepening commitment to research and enquiry.

Schools in our survey told us they were looking for support and advice with:

  • “Developing a rationale around research and developing the role further to begin larger projects”

  • “Building bridges with external research partners"

  • "Developing structures for promoting R&D across the school initially and then across the alliance.”


Diagnose current strengths and areas for development

  • Use our self-diagnosis tool to understand where you currently are with R&D and identify strategic priorities for further growth and development

  • Get ideas and suggestions on different research roles and activities, including how to build capability and engage an increasing number of people in research and enquiry

  • Our case studies give examples of how schools and alliances are going further with R&D to enhance teaching and promote professional and pupil learning

  • See our top tips page for further advice, hints and suggestions for schools and alliances who are looking to expand and deepen their work on R&D.


Develop a strategic approach to R&D

This section also includes suggestions on taking a more coordinated and strategic approach to R&D, including some examples from participating schools of strategic plans to expand and embed R&D.

The resources page has more links to help you access external research and engage in enquiry, innovation and evaluation.


The ethical dimension

  • Conducting research raises potential ethical issues, which should be considered at the start of a project, before any data is collected.  Research leads should share ethical guidelines and encourage participants to consider issues such as confidentiality and anonymity, informed consent, the right to withdraw, who collects and owns the research, and what will happen as a result of the research

  • For teachers engaged in collaborative forms of enquiry, it is often useful to talk about how you want to work together and possibly set some ground rules at the outset (the Lesson Study handbook has a useful protocol that can be adapted for different projects)

  • Remember that the process of enquiry means asking questions and being genuinely interested in finding out more, rather than pursuing a particular agenda or seeking to confirm existing practice.