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Data and Inquiry Driving School Improvement: Recent Developments in England

Peter Earley, Sara Bubb


In this paper we draw upon recent developments in England to show how school leaders are using evidence and data for the purposes of school improvement and teachers are becoming more «research engaged» or research orientated. Particular interest is given to how schools are attempting to close the gap between the performance of children from different socio-economic backgrounds.  A policy initiative – the Pupil Premium - has led to school leaders looking closely at a range of improvement and intervention strategies, their effectiveness and the impact they have, especially on poor pupils.  We consider this and other related developments further, within an emerging self-improving system, and argue that school leaders are crucial for both data-driven improvement and for ensuring that school-based decision-making becomes evidence based or at least evidence informed. Research engagement does not just happen - it has to be led and managed. The vision is to change the culture of schooling so that practitioner inquiry and research engagement are important parts of teachers’ professional practice. Inquiry-based school systems have been found to be a hallmark of high performing countries (Mourshed et al, 2010) and school leaders are key to the success of this system and cultural change. The paper concludes by considering what factors are important for this change to be realised.


Evidence informed decision-making, Intervention strategies, Research engaged schools, School leaders, School improvement, Dirigenti scolasctici, Processo decisionale basato sull’evidenza, Scuole impegnate nella ricerca, Strategie di intervento

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2014-009-earl

Copyright (©) 2014 Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS Journal) – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie


Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (19/05/2010 n. 278)
Online ISSN 2037-7924 - Print ISSN 2037-7932

Research Laboratory on Didactics and Evaluation - Department of Education - "Roma Tre" University

Executive Editor: Gaetano Domenici - Associate Executive Editor & Managing  Editor: Valeria Biasci
Editorial Board: Eleftheria Argyropoulou - Massimo Baldacci - Joao Barroso - Richard Bates - Christofer Bezzina - Paolo Bonaiuto - Lucia Boncori - Pietro Boscolo - Sara Bubb  - Carlo Felice Casula - Jean-Émile Charlier - Lucia Chiappetta Cajola - Carmela Covato - Jean-Louis Derouet - Peter Early - Franco Frabboni - Constance Katz - James Levin - Pietro Lucisano  - Roberto Maragliano - Romuald Normand - Michael Osborne - Donatella Palomba - Michele Pellerey - Clotilde Pontecorvo - Vitaly V. Rubtzov - Jaap Scheerens - Noah W. Sobe - Francesco Susi - Giuseppe Spadafora - Pat Thomson
Editorial Staff: Fabio Alivernini - Guido Benvenuto - Anna Maria Ciraci - Massimiliano Fiorucci - Luca Mallia - Massimo Margottini - Giovanni Moretti - Carla Roverselli 
Editorial Secretary:
Nazarena Patrizi 

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