Sheffield Hallam to advise national education research project

16th September 2016

Professor John Leach, Pro Vice-Chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University, will provide his expertise to a new project from the Royal Society and British Academy launched to transform educational research in the UK.

The project will determine how best to harness new and up-to-date research methodologies, using the latest technologies, big data and interdisciplinary approaches, to improve educational outcomes for young people in the UK and internationally. The Academies believe that high quality research has the potential to transform education in the UK, and internationally, but are concerned that levels of research income and the size of the educational research community have fallen in recent years. This new project will investigate the opportunities and challenges for teachers, researchers, funders and policy-makers - from the funding and commissioning of research to accessing and applying it. It will also assess how the connections between these groups may be strengthened so as to ensure that research informs and is consistently informed by policy and practice. Professor Leach will sit on the project's Working Group alongside many of the country's leading figures in education, academia and research, with the project due to report in summer 2017. Professor Leach said: "The legacy of research is its real-world impact - and that can be no more clearly evidenced than in the field of education and the experiences of young people. "This project will provide a platform to help strengthen our capacity in educational research, ensuring that we are using evidence to achieve the very best outcomes for learners at all stages of education." Sir Alan Wilson FBA FRS, chair of the Working Group, said: "In this increasingly complex, connected and competitive world, there is unprecedented desire to understand how educational achievement and outcomes can be improved for all young people. Educational research has a crucial role to play in providing the evidence that will help make this possible. "We must, therefore, ensure that the research ecosystem (including researchers, funders, teachers and policy-makers) is healthy and well-coordinated. This joint Royal Society and British Academy project seeks to ensure that it will be." The Royal Society and British Academy have issued a call for views in order to inform the work of the project. The call for views is available to download at on the Royal Society website and British Academy website. You can also read Professor Leach's blog for HEi Know about the project here.

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