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    Notre Dame designated an EEF/IEE Research School

    Notre Dame High School will receive £200,000 over three years to become the focal point of evidence-based practice in Norwich and build networks between large numbers of schools. The University of East Anglia School of Education and Lifelong Learning is also a key partner in the Research School, supporting the schools across Norwich in this exciting new development. Each Research School will develop a programme of support and events to get more teachers using research evidence in ways that make a difference in the classroom.

    The 11 new Research Schools, appointed following a competitive application process, are:

    • Hastings Research School at Ark Blacklands Primary Academy
    • Stoke-on-Trent Research School by The Keele and North Staffordshire Alliance
    • Norwich Research School at Notre Dame High School
    • Oldham Research School by The Greetland Academy
    • Blackpool Research School at St Mary's Catholic Academy
    • Doncaster Research School by Partners in Learning
    • Scarborough Research School by Esk Valley Alliance
    • Derby Research School at Wyndham Primary
    • West Somerset Research School at The Blue School, Wells
    • Bradford Research School at Dixons Academies
    • East Cambridgeshire and Fenlands Research School at Littleport CP School

    Notre Dame High School currently has 1400 pupils and has been recognised by OFSTED at its last inspection as being ‘Outstanding’. Recently it was also designated as a Teaching School and it supports schools throughout Norwich and Norfolk with Initial Teacher Training and Professional Development. The school is part of the St John the Baptist Catholic MAT, which included 6 Primary Schools in Norfolk and North Suffolk. The school has a strong culture of using research proven methods in teaching and learning, led by Mr Roger Higgins (Assistant Headteacher Research & Development) and Dr Niki Kaiser, a teacher of Chemistry whose innovative use of research in the classroom and across the school was one of the key reasons the bid was successful.

    Notre Dame High School will join a growing network of Research Schools across the country. The first five were announced in October 2016, with a second six established in January 2017.

    Since then, the Research Schools have delivered a wide range of activities nationally to help teachers to use research to improve their teaching. They include programmes to help schools make the most of teaching assistants, training to support literacy in the early years and backing to develop Research School leads to spearhead the use of evidence in the classroom. They’ve also hosted conferences for schools in their area and put together monthly Research Schools Network newsletters, sent to 3000 teachers around the country.

    Justine Greening also announced today that Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the EEF, would become ‘Evidence Champion’ for the Opportunity Areas. He will support the regions, including Norwich to better use evidence to improve outcomes and social mobility prospects for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged homes. 


    Education Secretary Justine Greening said: 

    "Teachers are key to making sure that young people can reach their potential, regardless of where they start in life, so helping the profession be the best it can be will help tackle social mobility. By gathering evidence on what works in the classroom and sharing the best practice with teachers we can help to level up the opportunities for every pupil. These Research Schools will accelerate the work that is already underway in our Opportunity Areas and as our 'Evidence Champion', I know that Sir Kevan will look to share these learnings with teachers across the country." 


    Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and Chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:

    “I’m delighted that Kevan is to become ‘Evidence Champion’. Under his leadership the Education Endowment Foundation has changed the landscape of education research in England. No one is better placed to support and inspire schools to use research to improve outcomes for their pupils.”


    Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, added:

    “We know that there are big differences in social mobility across the country. Reaching those ‘coldspots’ is one of the biggest challenges we face in our drive to improve social mobility.

    “Evidence of ‘what works’ is one of our most useful tools to do this. I’m looking forward to getting started as ‘Evidence Champion’ and bringing this to bear in these areas that need it most. By working with local partners, schools and organisations, we have the potential to really make a difference.

    “The new Research Schools will be crucial. They’ll help to break down barriers so that research doesn’t stay in the pages of academic journals but has a real impact on classroom practice. Putting teachers in the driving seat can make all the difference.”


    Professor Bette Chambers, Director at the Institute for Effective Education, said:

    “We have been very impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm of the first eleven Research Schools to using research evidence to enhance teaching and learning. The new Research Schools show similar enthusiasm and will contribute considerably to the growing Research Schools Network.

    “By supporting schools in their areas, and bridging the gap between research and practice, they will help to improve outcomes for children across the country.”


    Brian Conway, Executive Headteacher at Notre Dame and CEO of the St John the Baptist Catholic MAT, said:

    We are delighted and honoured to have been designated as a Research School for Norwich and look forward to working with all Norwich schools and the Norwich Opportunity Area partners as we move forward. The UEA School of Education and Lifelong Learning has provided crucial support for our plans and will be invaluable in the future. There are many schools in Norwich who have supported and guided our proposal for a Research School and we are excited about how we can develop the use of effective research to further improve teaching and learning within the Opportunity Area.


    For more information, visit the Research School Website:

    rhi / 07.17