New quality mark to reward practitioner-led research


A quality mark has been launched to formally recognise schools and colleges that carry out their own research to enhance the quality of teaching and learning.

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has unveiled its Research Mark to reward and endorse practitioner-led enquiry among professionals.

It is being backed by a range of organisations including SecEd and our sister titles Headteacher Update and Early Years Educator.

The Research Mark offers schools face-to-face feedback and a report from an NFER research associate with practical experience in research engagement. It is also designed to help schools develop improvement plans based around their research.

Schools applying will need to provide evidence of their research matched against 10 criteria, including the improvement of teaching and learning and the impact on pupils. They will then receive a visit from an NFER researcher who will watch the research in action, feedback to the teachers involved, and provide a report with recommendations on how to use research to improve practice and outcomes for children.

Applicants will receive the Research Mark if the criteria are met to the researcher’s satisfaction. The Research Mark is valid for three years, and is open to all education settings in England.

Other organisations supporting the Mark include the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the National Association of Head Teachers, and the National College for Teaching and Leadership. For details, visit



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