New 'research school' gets £200k Government cash boost

St Mary's Catholic Academy has been named one of 11 new research schools by the Government
St Mary's Catholic Academy has been named one of 11 new research schools by the Government
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A Blackpool school has been singled out by the Government for a £200,000 boost.

St Mary's Catholic Academy, in Layton, is one of 11 new 'research schools' announced today by education secretary Justine Greening.

The funding has been targeted at areas identified as social mobility 'coldspots' and will aim to boost the quality of teaching through better use of research.

Each of the schools will get £200,000 over three years to build regional networks with other schools and get more teachers using research evidence in the classroom.

Simon Eccles, headteacher at St Mary's, on St Walburgas Road, said: “We are delighted to be selected as a research school within Blackpool.

"We have always worked hard to develop our use of evidence to improve our teaching in the classroom and to help teachers have maximum impact.

"This has resulted in positive outcomes for our students in terms of progress and attainment data backed up by our recent good Ofsted rating.

"We are looking forwards to being able to further develop this work and to support colleagues from across the area in placing research evidence at the heart of developing practice to improve outcomes for young people across Blackpool.”

Ms 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."

The new research schools are part-funded through the Government’s Opportunity Areas programme and part of a joint initiative between the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Institute for Effective Education (IEE).

Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, was appointed 'evidence champion' with a remit to help boost social mobility among young people, particularly those from disadvantaged areas.

He said: "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.

"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."

The 11 new research schools announced today are:

* Blackpool Research School at St Mary's Catholic Academy

* 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 AcademyDoncaster 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

The schools 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.