How effective is the research and development ecosystem for England’s schools?

David Godfrey, Christopher David Brown

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This article examines the role of research and development within England’s school system. From a range of literature past and present we argue that six features (three dimensions) should form the focus for action at the institutional, systemic and policy levels. Applying these stress tests of the current system, we suggest that an effective ecosystem of research informed schools is as yet not being fully realized. We argue that the keys to improving this are to change the structures, cultures and incentives that bridge the research–practice divide, and to align accountability arrangements to allow schools to learn through enquiry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-151
Number of pages16
JournalLondon Review of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2018


  • research engaged schools
  • knowledge-mobilzation
  • evidence-informed practice
  • self-improving system


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