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Past event

Top Tips and Triggers – Learning from Head Teachers and Senior Leadership Teams who have research active schools

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In Summer of 2020, the Research Methodology in Education SIG and the Practitioner Researchers SIG hosted the Principles into Practice event. An event was requested to find out how/why Head Teachers and Senior Management (Leadership) Teams encourage research in developing their school or as the basis for interventions.

The questions raised were:

  1. What was a key reason (trigger) for embracing a research-based approach?
  2. How did the Senior Management help to develop a culture of research and use research-based approaches for interventions (tip)?
  3. What were some of the ways in which a culture of research can be developed (tip)?
  4. How were the barriers to implementing such an approach overcome (tip)?
  5. What is some of the learning from taking such an approach (tip)?

The Educational Leadership SIG has joined us to provide a follow-up event. We are looking for Head Teachers and members of Senior Management Teams to share their experiences and good practice. We are interested in hearing from schools around the globe.

The first part would be to produce a stand-alone 15 minute presentation which would address some of the questions above. These will be recorded and available online from the 12th April 2021.

The second element will be a panel discussion where there will be a live chaired discussion by the practitioner presenters with opportunities to put questions to them and hear their responses to those raised earlier from their recorded presentations.

The abstract submission deadline was 22 March 2021.

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  1. David Higginbottom, Cross-Phase Assistant Headteacher, Gosport & Fareham Multi-Academy Trust
  2. Islean Gibson, Headteacher, Kinloch Rannoch Primary School

  3. Rachael Foster, Deputy Headteacher and Teaching School Director, Blean Primary School
  4. Anna-Claire Norden, Headteacher, Swavesey Primary School


Submit your questions below and these will be discussed at the panel discussion to be held on the 5 May 2021.


Profile picture of Carmel Capewell
Carmel Capewell, Dr

Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University

Carmel is a Lecturer in Early Years and Child Development at Oxford Brookes University. She has a strong interest in developing innovative research methods, particularly to encouraging the participation of young people in expressing and sharing...

Profile picture of Alison Fox
Alison Fox, Dr

Senior Lecturer at The Open University

Dr Alison Fox is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the Open University in the School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport, an Associate Head of School (Research and Knowledge Exchange), chair of the University’s Human Research Ethics...

Profile picture of Emma Taylor
Emma Taylor, Dr

LSE Fellow at London School of Economics & Political Science

Emma Taylor has over 12 years of experience teaching Geography to secondary school students in London. Alongside teaching, she has recently undertaken the role of Research Lead at the school in which she currently works. Her research role...

Profile picture of Claire Tyson
Claire Tyson, Dr

Teacher Researcher at Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre

Claire Tyson is a teacher researcher based at Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre, where she combines teaching science with her research post. Her PhD was obtained by studying part time with Queen Mary, University of London in Clinical...

Profile picture of Azumah Dennis
Azumah Dennis, Dr

Lecturer at The Open University

Carol Azumah Dennis has worked in higher education since 2010, first at the University of Hull where she was employed initially as a lecturer in education and programme director for post-16 teacher education, and later as programme director for...

Profile picture of Lindsay Johnstone
Lindsay Johnstone, Miss

Assistant Headteacher at Manchester Metropolitan University

Lindsay Johnstone has worked in secondary schools for 19 years, 10 years as a middle leader and seven years as a senior leader. She is now working in a higher education institution supporting degree apprentices in achieving their leadership and...


Profile picture of Anna-Claire Norden
Anna-Claire Norden, Mrs

Headteacher at Swavesey Primary School

Anna has 29 years of teaching experience in primary education, with the last 9 as the headteacher of two different schools. Anna is a proactive supporter of ITT and is at present the co-chair of the PGCE standing committee at the Faculty of...

Profile picture of David Higginbottom
David Higginbottom, Mr

Assistant Headteacher at GFM Education (Bay House School and Brune Park School)

David is a School Improvement Lead at HISP Multi Academy Trust and is the Early Career Teacher Lead for HISP Teaching School Hub. With ten years of teaching experience, as a Geography teacher in the secondary sector and with teaching experience...

Profile picture of Islean Gibson
Islean Gibson, Miss

Headteacher at Dounby Community School

Islean Gibson is from Dounby Community School. With Rhona Black, she is in the thick of developing learner-led action research across the school. As a team, Islean and Rhona have been exploring the meaning of belonging to a school community and...

Profile picture of Rachael Foster
Rachael Foster, Ms

Headteacher / Teaching School Director at Blean CP School

Rachael Foster is the Headteacher of Lady Joanna Thornhill (Endowed) Primary school in Wye, Kent. She has previously led a Teaching School and has over 15 years’ experience of school leadership. She has been actively involved in research over a...

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