IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Leading Research and Development (R&D) in Schools

28 November 2018, 1:30 pm–4:30 pm


This programme, taught over four half-days will help you find, critique and apply research related to your school’s context. It also supports you to lead colleagues in learning-focused, school-based enquiries.

Event Information

Open to







Margaret Turner – IOE London Centre for Leadership in Learning
020 7612 6245


Room: TBC
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
United Kingdom

Course Structure

The course is taught over four half-day face-to-face sessions, involving both theory and practical activity.

In between sessions you will be encouraged to apply your learning through collaborative, practice-based enquiries centred on issues of strategic importance to your school.

You will:

  • explore the benefits and challenges of making R&D a reality in schools
  • carry out practical R&D activities in your school, sharing the process with like-minded participants.
  • become a member of the IOE R&D Network, which will give you access to the network's website, including a library resources.

Course content

The topics covered in each session will include:

Session 1 – 28 November 2018 13:30 – 16:30 

  •     Challenges and opportunities of leading R&D within and across schools
  •     Assessing readiness for research engagement
  •     Essential skills and attributes
  •     Developing a strategic focus of enquiry

Session 2 – 31 January 2019 13:30 – 16:30 

  •     Sharing and interrogating baseline data
  •     Sourcing and critiquing high quality research
  •     Refining your enquiry focus – what difference do you want to make?
  •     Designing appropriate research tools

Session 3 – 26 March 2019 13:30 – 16:30 

  •     Leading and managing change - developing a theory of action
  •     Tracking and evidencing changes in teacher practice and pupil learning
  •     Supporting teacher development

Session 4 – 22 May 2019 13:30 – 16:30 

  •     Evaluating impact
  •     Mobilising knowledge and sustaining change
  •     Reviewing own development as a leader of R&D

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone responsible for R&D in their school.

Learning outcomes

As part of a collegiate forum you will be exploring the benefits and challenges of making R&D a reality in schools and have a chance to carry out practical R&D activities in your school between sessions, sharing the process with like-minded participants.


The course will run on the following dates:

  1. Session 1 – 28 November 2018, 1:30 to 4:30pm
  2. Session 2 – 31 January 2019, 1:30 to 4:30pm
  3. Session 3 – 26 March 2019, 1:30 to 4:30pm
  4. Session 4 – 22 May 2019, 1:30 to 4:30pm

About the Speaker

Karen Spence-Thomas

Bespoke Programme Leader, London College of Leadership and Learning at UCL Institute of Education

Karen co-leads the IOE R&D Network of schools with Louise Stoll and specialises in the leadership of research and development. She's particularly interested in how schools build capacity to engage in and with research and how they can work together to do this.

More about Karen Spence-Thomas