Short courses


Leading Research and Development (R&D) in Schools

  • 12 hours
  • 4 half days


This programme will help you find, critique and apply research in your school.

It'll also support you to lead colleagues in learning-focused school-based enquiry.


  • 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

This programme is run by the London Centre for Leadership in Learning (LCLL) at UCL Institute of Education (IOE).

Course content

The topics covered in each session will include:

Session 1

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Session 4

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

    Course structure

    You'll take part in four half-day face-to-face sessions, involving both theory and practical activity.

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

    Who the course is for

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

      Learning outcomes

      The programme will help you to:

      • design and lead R&D activity within and across schools
      • develop a culture of research engagement within teams, organisations and clusters
      • facilitate effective professional learning
      • draw on and share research and evidence in innovative ways
      • evaluate the impact of initiatives


      You'll receive a certificate of completion.

      Course team

      Karen Spence-Thomas

      Karen Spence-Thomas

      Karen is Bespoke Programme Leader at LCLL. She 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.

      Course information last modified: 11 Feb 2020, 16:38