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06 September 2023

National Institute of Teaching unveils its Research Advisory Group

The National Institute of Teaching has formally launched the body set up to scrutinise and support its research output.

The National Institute of Teaching has formally launched the body set up to scrutinise and support its research output.

The Research Advisory Group is made up of high-profile figures from the world of education research, alongside board members of the National Institute of Teaching. It includes education researchers, sector leaders, and school leaders.

The advisory group will support, scrutinise, and act as a sounding board for the Institute’s research function, helping ensure that the research it conducts is methodologically and ethically sound. It advises on strategic decision-making and quality matters including planning, monitoring, and implementation of the NIoT’s evolving research strategy.

The group was established earlier this year. It has so far supported research into intensive training and practice (a new component of initial teacher training) and mentoring for trainee and early career teachers.

It is also supporting work on developing a ‘school-led’ research agenda for the education sector. In March, the Institute launched a consultation to identify the priorities for professional development research. More than three-quarters of respondents were serving teachers and leaders. The Institute will be publishing early findings on this work in September.

Dr Calum Davey, executive director of research at the National Institute of Teaching, said: “It’s a privilege to work alongside this impressive group of research and education professionals.

“The National Institute of Teaching has a mandate to conduct and share research that will support best practices across the education system, and it’s important that this research is methodologically robust and ethically sound.

“Having this group has been an important part of that process. Their combined experience in research and education has significantly strengthened our output and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”

Carole Willis, chair of the Research Advisory Group and chief executive of the NFER, said: “I’m delighted to chair this group and support the important work of the National Institute of Teaching. Rigorous research is imperative for designing high-quality professional development, helping teachers and leaders be the best they can be. Ultimately, that’s all in service of ensuring all children have access to the best possible education.”

The Research Advisory Group members:

  • Carole Willis chairs the advisory group. She has been Chief Executive of the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) since December 2013. Before joining NFER, she was Director of Research and Analysis at the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department’s Chief Scientific Adviser. She also worked as an Economic Consultant at National Economic Research Associates (NERA).
  • Professor Becky Allen is Professor of Education at the University of Brighton and Chief Analyst and co-founder of Teacher Tapp, the largest teacher survey in England. Over her academic career she has researched school effectiveness, school accountability, assessment and teacher careers. In 2018, she chaired a Government working group to review school data use.
  • Professor Rob Coe is Director of Research and Development at Evidence Based Education and Senior Associate at the Education Endowment Foundation. He was previously Professor of Education and Director of the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University, and before that a secondary mathematics teacher. He is a Visiting Professor of Education at the Centre for Mathematical Cognition at Loughborough University.
  • Dame Rachel de Souza is an educator and social reformer with more than 30 years’ experience improving children’s outcomes. She was appointed Children’s Commissioner for England in 2021, where her first act was to oversee the largest-ever survey of children’s voices and experiences, ‘The Big Ask’. This has become the foundation of her time in office and has shaped her work strengthening the Government’s Online Safety Bill, driving up school attendance and advocating for children in or leaving the care system. She was asked by the Government to carry out an independent Family Review which looked at the dynamics of family in Britain today, making recommendations for more accessible, reliable and familial public services.
  • Kathryn Morgan is the Capacity Improvement Advisor, a systems leadership role, at the Teaching School Hubs Council (TSHC) where she works closely with policy makers and a wide range of wider sector stakeholders to ensure teaching school hubs are well placed to deliver high-quality programmes at scale. In her role, Kathryn is responsible for the design, and delivery of the TSHC Support Programme, providing the network of TSHs with the knowledge and skills required to fulfil their role as school-led centres of excellence. Kathryn has held a variety of senior school and trust leadership positions and as well as senior roles at Ambition Institute and the Teacher Development Trust. In addition to this, she has been a Research Associate at the University of Gloucester, where she also gained a Masters in Educational Leadership.
  • Andy Samways is Director of Unity Research School, one of the Education Endowment Foundation's 33 Research Schools. As part of this network, dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement, he leads a wide range of partnership development activity and programme delivery, supporting schools to improve teaching and learning through better use of evidence. Andy is also Director of Unity Teaching School Hub and a member of the Royal Society Education Committee.
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