Our impact

We make a difference through dialogue
We achieve impact by promoting conversation between researchers, policymakers and practitioners. Central government departments, local authorities (LAs) and other organisations use our research expertise and seek our advice. They include

  • the DfE and the National College
  • national and local organisations with specific interests – including charities such as Gatsby, Booktrust, the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics and the Science Learning Centre Network
  • LAs and new organisational groups – such as Rotherham and Leicester LAs, Stockport NHS, Sheffield and other teaching school alliances
  • practitioners – including head teachers and teachers across the region and beyond, and teacher educators at the University and elsewhere

We have an impact on policy
We make an impact through our research reports and presentations to policy makers. We have delivered ten final reports and fourteen presentations to the DfE since 2008. The Department regularly uses these studies to steer policy. They have included

  • the 2008 Choice Advice Study which was used to inform the government’s revision of the School Admissions and Appeals Code
  • the 2009 guidance to LAs on how they should run their Choice Advice services
  • the 2011 Phonics Screening Check Pilot evaluation, which contributed to the decision to implement the check and influenced its design (Ministerial Statement, September 2011)

Our research also impacts on programme delivery. For example,

  • our research informed how Booktrust reshaped their book selection and provided refreshed guidance for local Bookstart coordinators
  • our work with the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics has influenced the organisation's CPD design, to include collaborative teacher-focussed and research-informed CPD, informing their discussions with key funders –especially the DfE – and contributing to its recommission in 2012
  • our work has led to a range of impacts on programme delivery in the National College

We contribute to policy debate
Our work on the phonics screening check was used by policy makers and informed a fierce policy debate. Organisations including the United Kingdom Literacy Association and children's communication charity ICAN used it as the basis to argue against the screening check, leading to a parliamentary Early Day Motion (no. 774), and debate in the Times Education Supplement and other media.

Our work has also stimulated widespread debate on issues related to sex and relationships education, and homophobia and transphobia in schools.

Our research influences educational practice
Our collaboration with the Institute of Education, University of London has supported and influenced schools’ research and development practices in relation to pedagogy and CPD – we have worked with teachers in 50 schools across England to date. Outputs from research on education policy and leadership written to inform user audiences are available to educational leaders and teachers. For example, our work on Choice Advice was used to develop a policy and practice briefing on researching hard-to-reach groups, and we regularly present our findings to school leaders and other practitioner groups.