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Leeds Beckett and Bingley Grammar School team up to boost teacher skills


A new partnership has been launched between Leeds Beckett University and Bingley Grammar School, to boost teachers’ research skills and find out what really works for children.

Steven Riley, Luke Weston, Professor Damien Page and Chris Quinn.

Through the partnership, teachers at Bingley Grammar School will be able to enrol on Leeds Beckett’s new Masters by Research Professional Practice (MRes) degree course, allowing them to critically analyse a project they have completed, or apply the principals of research to the planning and evaluation of a work project they are about to begin.

Bingley Grammar are also one of seven schools in Yorkshire to receive backing from Leeds Beckett’s Carey Philpott Partner Research Fund, which will further help the School to embed research within teachers’ professional practice. As part of this, the School will work towards Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie Teacher-Researcher Status: a formal recognition of the development of research and evidence-based teaching.

Professor Damien Page, Dean of the Carnegie School of Education said: “This partnership provides a model for how universities and schools can collaborate to really embed research and find out what really works for children. In Bingley Grammar we’ve found a partner dedicated to improving outcomes for their children and serious in investing their time and resources in becoming research rich – for a School of Education such as us, this is a really exciting opportunity.”

Steven Riley, Head of Media and Research at Bingley Grammar School, commented: “ For the last few years, staff at Bingley Grammar School have taken a keen interest in utilising educational research to inform their teaching. We are extremely proud and excited to have established our partnership with Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Education, which is a key development for our vision of embedding evidence and research-informed practice within the culture of our school. Increasing our capacity in these fields will form an important part of our strategic plan to invest in the training and development of our staff, helping to ensure better practices and improved outcomes for the children in our care.”

Bingley Grammar will also work with Leeds Beckett to develop new continuing professional development (CPD) programmes within the School and placement opportunities for student teachers at the University.

Luke Weston, Head Teacher at Bingley Grammar School said: “ This is an exciting opportunity for our students and staff as it will allow us to further improve our teaching by using even more research to enhance our practice. We are proud to be linking with such a highly rated university as it allows all of our students to see going onto university as a real and tangible option.

“The work that we have undertaken with Professor Page to enhance our research school activities has been shown to be even more important with the government announcing that Bradford will become one of the six new ‘opportunity areas’ that will receive funding to set up research schools to address the issues around social mobility.”

Chris Quinn, Chair of Governors at Bingley Grammar School, added: “ This partnership is a logical step for both organisations with co-operation far beyond that already agreed likely in the near future. For the school, having a degree of influence over the research programme combined with the opportunity it offers our staff to further develop their critical thinking is the best possible type of CPD. For the University, the school and its highly-developed data systems provide the opportunity to test ideas and be confident of rigorous evaluation in a real world environment. To me this is definitely a win/win situation and one which our staff and students should find rewarding and enjoyable."

The year-long, part-time, Masters by Research Professional Practice degree programme will start in February 2017 at Leeds Beckett is also available for individuals, and organisation groups, to study as aspiring professionals in middle and senior management positions in schools, local authorities or hospitals. It is designed to recognise prior achievements, providing evidence of advanced professional skills including research-informed practice, leadership and critical thinking.

For more information on MRes.

Image l-r: Steven Riley, Luke Weston, Professor Damien Page and Chris Quinn.

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