Newcastle-based Educational Trust Awarded Research School Status

Issue 51

A mixed multi academy trust in Newcastle has beaten competition from over 200 applicants across the country to have one of its schools named as one of 10 new designated Research Schools.

Led by Walkergate Community School, which operates as part of the Newcastle East mixed multi Academy Trust (NEAT), the Newcastle Research School at Walkergate will receive £140,000 funding from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) over the course of three years as part of its Research Schools Network.

The EEF is dedicated to helping break the link between family income and educational achievement. Through its Research Schools, the independent charity aims to collate evidencebased research which will help to boost the quality of teaching in schools across the UK.

From September 2019, the Research School will become a regional hub for monitoring and assessing the impact of different teaching methods and strategies implemented at schools in the North East.

Projects highlighted for assessment by the EEF will vary in scope and complexity, but will all come back to the core theme of impact and how staff, pupils and communities might benefit from improved resources, training and infrastructure.

“We are delighted to have been successful in our application to become one of only ten Research Schools nationally,” said Debi Bailey, chief executive officer at Newcastle East mixed multi Academy Trust.

“As a Trust, we are very proud to serve an area of socioeconomic disadvantage. The opportunities that will be provided through the Research School Network for partnership working and innovative, evidence-based research, will be key for us to ensure that we continue to make a positive difference to outcomes for young people.

“We believe passionately that schools are the difference and collaborative, school-to-school support is the solution – a view strongly supported by EEF. We have had the privilege of supporting schools both within Newcastle and beyond for some time and we are delighted to have been given an opportunity to build on these successful relationships to the benefit of our pupils, staff and the local communities we serve.

“Our common purpose as a multi academy trust is to Nurture, Educate, Achieve and Transform and we feel the partnership with the Education Endowment Foundation and Institute for Effective Education will support us in realising this vision both within NEAT schools and across the entire North East region.”

Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, commented: “We’re at an important moment in the potential of evidence to improve teaching and learning in England’s schools, particularly for our most disadvantaged young people. Not only is this country now a world-leader in producing high-quality evidence, but there is also a large and growing appetite among teachers and senior leaders to use this research to underpin their school’s improvement.

“However, too few schools have the time and resources to take on and implement evidence. The expanded Research Schools Network will engage with schools, local authorities, multi-academy trusts and other practitioners to improve teaching and learning in their region. They’ll develop practical tools, training courses, professional development and coaching, all based on the best available evidence.”

The bid to become part of the Research Schools Network was driven by Newcastle East mixed multi Academy Trust’s ambition that the status would benefit all of its schools. Established in 2017, the Trust, which alongside Walkergate Community School also includes West Walker Primary School, Tyneview Primary School, Benfield School and the Central Walker Church of England Primary School, collectively has over 2,000 pupils and employs more than 350 members of staff.

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