Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance
Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance

Research and Development

As an essential part of our work as a Teaching School Alliance, we are increasing our involvement in educational research and developing initiatives at a range of levels. Engagement with and engagement in research is a critical element of school improvement and individual CPD for teachers and teaching assistants by focussing directly on improved pupil outcomes. Being research literate is also a step in the professionalism of teaching as a whole.


Fundamental to this, is creating capacity within schools to engage with research be it reading or carrying out evidence based practice. OTSA is committed to supporting schools to achieve this by enabling links with Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University and by offering a wealth of materials and CPD opportunities in this field.


OTSA is also able to bid for research funding for specific projects as and when those opportunities arise.

At the end of the summer term I spent a fantastic day at the MSc Learning and Teaching Poster Conference at the University of Oxford. The work of the Deanery in supporting local teachers engage with research is really important. It was great to see the research completed by Oxfordshire teachers at the conference. Click here to  see some of the posters covering a range of research topics.

Phoebe Greenway, one of our Science teachers at Oxford Spires Academy presented her research on a really important part of teaching: feedback and progress. I hope you find reading the overview of her research project and poster interesting.

Sara Fletcher
OTSA Director for Research and Development

Upcoming events


Attachment awareness: Research presentation and exploration of implications
Wednesday 26th September 4.30 – 6.00pm
Department of Education, University of Oxford, 15 Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6PY

Members of the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education and teacher educators who have been working with them on this project will be sharing recent research, on embedding attachment awareness in over 60 schools in three local authorities around the country.
The event is open to all classroom teachers, teaching assistants and school leaders. Further details can be found here. (Although the deadline for registering interest was listed as 17 September, just let the team know using the link on the web-page if you would like to come, even after this date.)


Action Research Fellowship – presentation event
Thursday 4th October
4.30 to 6.30pm
Department of Education, University of Oxford, 15 Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6PY

This annual event is an opportunity for teachers who have been carrying out small-scale action research or teacher enquiry projects in their schools to report on their experience and on what they have learned. The event is run rather like a Teach Meet with short presentations (5 minutes) and 2-3 minutes for questions. Many of those presenting will have been supported by the Oxford Education Deanery in carrying out their projects – but the event is open to others who have been working in a similar way to share their work. It’s also a chance for anyone thinking about the Action Research Fellowship scheme to come and find out more.  Further details here and contact Katharine Burn if you would like to present (katharine.burn@education.ox.ac.uk).


Hitting the Mark: Classroom based research into marking
Deadline extended to 30th September

Thanks to those who have already submitted papers but if anyone was thinking about this and didn’t quite get round to it – the deadline has been extended.

Two years ago researchers from Oxford led the EEF review into written marking called A Marked Improvement?  (available online to download). One of the difficulties with the evidence base on written marking is that many studies are small, classroom based innovations and research projects which do not enter into the literature so others cannot find out what has been done. We know that since the publication of A Marked Improvement? many schools and colleagues have used the report as the basis for changing marking and evaluating the impact on learning and workload. 

We are inviting submissions for an edited open access collection of research papers to be published online next year. If you have completed a school based research project into marking (as an individual, a department or a school) we would like to hear from you. We welcome papers based on research conducted for Master’s coursework. All submissions will be peer reviewed and formative feedback given.

Papers should be 5-6000 words long and include: contextual information; a review of any extra literature used about the specific intervention or change; description of the intervention or change; a description of the data used to evaluate the intervention or change; a findings section with up to 4 main points to be drawn from the research and supporting evidence; a conclusion. Since this is an online only publication we welcome illustrations of any kind; please make sure you have permission to publish, for example if you use photographs of student work. You will retain copyright in your article but will give us permission to publish it.

Please email papers to velda.elliott@education.ox.ac.uk by September 30th 2018. All papers will be reviewed by December 15th and final versions will be due by April 22nd 2019. Hitting the Mark will be launched before the end of the Summer Term 2019.



Cheney Teachmeet: The Big Conversation
When: Thursday 1 November
, 4:30pm till 6pm.
Where: Cheney School
Who: Oxfordshire teachers in their first five years of teaching

  1. to develop a conversation among new teachers about key aspects of classroom practice
  2. to make new teachers aware of where they can find literature and research re classroom practice
  3. to make new teachers aware of the CPD opportunities offered by OCL in collaboration with other institutions: the MLP, the ELP, MA in T&L, Action Research.

For further information contact Rob Bown


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