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Pip Sanderson: Investment where it’s really needed

Pip Sanderson

Deputy Director - Star SCITT

Investment where it’s really needed

When I trained as a teacher back in 2011 the term evidence-informed teaching was hardly ever used. But here we are a decade on with evidence-informed teaching firmly seen as the gold standard in English schools. Not only has this raised the status of the profession, but it’s given students better opportunities to succeed, as we have a better understanding of what actually makes really effective teaching.

However, there hasn’t been nearly as much focus on evidence-informed teacher training and leadership development – just one reason I am delighted to hear of the National Institute of Teaching’s commitment to substantially invest in research into this area.  And because the Institute is a truly school-led organisation, the research will be conducted in schools for schools. Plus, the school-led nature of the National Institute means the research can be quickly and effectively disseminated, in a fit-for-purpose format based on the delivery realities of school life. And the really exciting thing? The Institute is going to have the opportunity to link data on teacher and leader development with data sets on pupil achievement so we can dig deeper into what truly makes an impact on student outcomes. Did you know that this is something not done systematically and/or at scale anywhere other than in North America? As a teacher trainer, you could of course say I am a little biased, but it’s so refreshing to see the pledge of investment in such a critical area.

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