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“We spend a lot of time working with our partners and other research schools to look at the evidence of what makes for good teacher learning, and working in city where evidence is paramount means that the quality of a teacher’s CPD is going to be right up there with the best in the country."


Taking the guesswork out of schools improvement

RSNLogo_FullColourThanks to support from the city’s own specialist ‘research school’, teachers in Bradford are developing an increasingly evidence-informed approach to improving classroom standards and pupil outcomes.

The Dixons Academies are a familiar name on Bradford’s education map – but perhaps less well known is that they’re also home to an innovative professional development resource that is playing a leading role in supporting schools to drive up educational standards across the city.

Bradford Research School, hosted by the academies, is a dedicated resource designed to support the city’s teachers in the use of evidence-informed classroom practices.

It provides expert guidance on what evidence suggests is most likely to work, advice on where to access specialist information and acts as a signpost through the often complex and confusing world of educational research.

“We’re here to promote a culture of our schools being more efficient and impactful through the use of the best evidence,” explains Judith Kidd, Head of Dixons Teaching Institute.

“We also advise teachers on how to translate that evidence into effective classroom practice, which we do by showcasing examples of where a particular approach has been proven to deliver improvements.”

The aim, according to Judith, is to help Bradford’s schools to deliver long-term sustainable improvement in a structured way.

“This is not about quick fixes,” she says. “Rather, it is about speeding up access to what we know works – and by doing so helping schools and teachers to become more confident in their use of evidence to inform their development.”

The research school’s resources are open to anyone teaching in the Bradford district and the team is always keen to hear about examples of evidence-informed approaches that can be disseminated across the region.

A regular member newsletter and a popular blog flag up the latest research developments and showcases success stories, while a monthly cycle of twilight roadshows provides teachers with face-to-face opportunities to discuss and road test the latest thinking.

For more in-depth advice, the research school also offers three-day courses exploring the research evidence around high profile problem areas such as language and literacy.

The head of the research school, Mark Miller, is clear on the many advantages being able to access such a rich source of expertise has for anyone teaching, or planning to teach, in Bradford.

“We spend a lot of time working with our partners and other research schools to look at the evidence of what makes for good teacher learning,” he says. “And working in city where evidence is paramount means that the quality of a teacher’s CPD is going to be right up there with the best in the country.

“We put such great store by it because ultimately, in terms of your development as a teacher, being evidence-informed means you’re doing the best things for the pupils that you teach.”

The Bradford Research School has been set up in partnership with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), an independent charity dedicated to 
breaking the link between family income and educational achievement.

Research School website      Education Endowment Foundation website

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shutterstock_372124501-[Converted]

“We spend a lot of time working with our partners and other research schools to look at the evidence of what makes for good teacher learning, and working in city where evidence is paramount means that the quality of a teacher’s CPD is going to be right up there with the best in the country."


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