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Partnerships with Schools

The overall aim over our work is to establish partnerships between the university and schools, locally, regionally and nationally, so that we can conjoin practice, policy, research and scholarship and build the profile of academic partners. 

The Leeds Beckett team undertake research which is school-focussed and practice-based, including practices to improve schools’ performances as they are promoted by the Coalition Government, Department for Education, and Leeds City Council Children’s Services Division and Local Authority school improvement partners. Of particular interest is the work in disadvantaged schools to improve students' achievement and performance as they are affected by poverty, deprivation and social class in relation to teaching and learning.

We are also interested in work which explores teachers’ knowledge-building in this era of tight control and regulatory frameworks. Teacher learning and development is crucial to improving student academic and social learning outcomes, and requires focussed research on:

  • Operational principles and principled work in schools;
  • School improvement that ‘makes a difference’;
  • Teachers’ analyses of the effects of poverty and deprivation;
  • The new Ofsted criteria; and
  • Statutory targets.

We put particular emphasis on the teachers’ professional voice and mentoring their practitioner research so that they can also engage in policy advocacy on matters to do with white British students’ under-achievement, ‘closing the gap’, literacy learning, locally responsive curriculum, productive pedagogies and assessment, as well as non/participation and persistent absentees, which have consequences for students not in education, employment and training.

We have close links with the Leeds Education Challenge and the BERA Practitioner Research Special Interest Group (SIG). We also support the development of research into school education and teacher education through a series of city-wide seminars and designated school-based seminars, once every half school-term, supporting schools’ research capacity building, and through recruiting and supporting both part time and full time Masters and Doctoral students, including PhD students and those studying for the Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD).

Education and Childhood Contacts

0113 81 23774