As Research Lead, I am incredibly passionate about ensuring that ‘evidence informed practice’ is at the heart of what we do here at Culcheth High School. It is crucial that as we work hard to embed this ethos across school that key decisions about our curriculum are driven by evidence, educational research that is meaningful in our school context.
Why do we need to establish a culture of ‘evidence informed practice’ at Culcheth High School?
The Government’s White Paper (2016) ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’, emphasises the importance of building a strong, evidenceinformed profession to help drive up standards in schools.
In 2013 the government commissioned a report on Building Evidence into Education from Dr Ben Goldacre, in which he said, “There is a huge prize waiting to be claimed by teachers. By collecting better evidence about what works best, and establishing a culture where this evidence is used as a matter of routine, we can improve outcomes for children, and increase professional independence”. Goldacre believes that “Teachers are now claiming that prize. The EEF’s Teaching and Learning Toolkit is helping teachers to find and use evidence about the most effective teaching methods to improve standards for all children, including the most disadvantaged. A recent National Audit Office survey found that nearly two thirds of school leaders use the Toolkit – showing that high quality evidence is now more accessible than ever before”.
In order to establish a national culture of ‘educational excellence everywhere’, The Secretary of State declared “We will increase
teachers’ access to and use of high quality evidence, ensure teachers are trained in understanding and applying evidence, and support the establishment of a new, peer-reviewed British education journal”. This is a reflection of the significant role that credible research and evidence can and does play in driving educational standards forward.
2016-2017 academic year has seen a strong framework for evidence based practice being established, but we cannot stand still. Our new curriculum design and the development of our CPD programme for staff have been designed together, with evidence at the heart of it. This in turn means that as a school, we can continue to establish and build upon the framework for evidence based practice that has already begun this year. I am very excited to continue working with staff and students alike on ‘what works’, ensuring that we continue to be ‘the best that we can be’ in the fast moving, ever changing world of education.
Miss J Lomax, Research Lead Practitioner