School Governors – Making a Difference in Middlesbrough

School governors represent the largest volunteer force in the country with approximately 1% of the adult population serving in this capacity at any one time.  There are various categories of governorship as outlined in the document below which gives more information on the role of governors in our schools.

Read more about School Governors (PDF)

Research projects in Middlesbrough – the results

A total of 6 of the 10 research projects funded by Exploring Schools Funding presented their findings at a meeting in June 2018. The projects are:

  • Sacred Heart – Sport and the influence on reading
  • MSCP – Higher ability learners and transition
  • Trinity – Spirals of enquiry
  • Marton Manor – A combined reading approach
  • Abingdon – Challenging learning
  • Priory Woods- The Equals curriculum

Read the research (PDF)

School Improvement Programme – annual review and case study

The School Improvement Programme is rolled out to a number of schools across Middlesbrough with the aim of improving outcomes.

Priory Woods School in Middlesbrough, which provides learning for children with severe needs, has accessed and delivered a research project using School Improvement Programme funding.

The school has undertaken an annual review which outlines the programme’s great achievements and the positive impact that the new curriculum has had on pupils and teachers.

Read the schools annual review (PDF)

Career framework and continuing Professional Development for Teaching Assistants

This document is intended to support the effective deployment of teaching assistants (TAs) by providing a professional framework for TA progression.

It is aimed at those who manage or support the professional development of TAs in schools.

This document uses the term ‘teaching assistant’(TA)to cover equivalent classroom based staff, such as learning support assistants and classroom assistants.

The framework was developed by UNISON and the National Education Trust, through a series of focus groups with teaching assistants from primary, secondary and special schools. Head teacher unions were also consulted with.

Read the career framework and continuing Professional Development for Teaching Assistants document (PDF)

Professional standards for Teaching Assistants

This paper has been published to offer advice and best practice to head teachers, teachers, teaching assistants, governing boards and local authority support services.

Read the professional standards for Teaching Assistants document (PDF)

Apply for research funding bids

Middlesbrough Council are inviting schools to consider applying for School Improvement Project funding for research led projects.  Research projects are being supported by Dr Tony Leach of York St. John’s University in order to ensure that the appropriate methodology is used, that outcomes are effectively evaluated and that ethical considerations are taken into account.

Criteria for funding bids:

  • Research projects should reflect authority wide improvement priorities
  • There should be a single focus so that successful strategies can be highlighted
  • Research should be focused on improving and developing practice, outcomes and provision
  • A significant cohort of pupils should be impacted upon
  • There should be existing research evidence which suggests this intervention is likely to have an impact
  • The school should have the capacity to implement this intervention
  • This intervention should have the potential to be up-scaled and shared across similar schools/cohorts
  • The bid must be clearly costed on a yearly basis and indicate the expected outcomes
  • It should be evident how schools will evaluate the work; there should be a focus on both qualitative and quantitative evaluation

The maximum funding available is £10,000.

If you wish to apply for funding for your project please complete the attached proforma by 7th September 2018 and your bid will be considered at the LDT meeting on September 20th 2018.  If you require further information or assistance to complete the form please contact Sara Davidson on

Download the Research Schools Funding Bid Proforma

Institute for Teaching: The Learning Curriculum June 2018

Take a look at the latest research paper from the Institute for Teaching which has been published to help teachers to better understand how students
learn use the knowledge they have been taught.

Closing the attainment gap: key lessons learned in the EEF’s first six years

An overview of the key points learned including; the importance of implementing projects correctly and improving post 16 attainment for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Read the key lessons learned document (PDF)

Action Research. Dr Tony Leach, York St John University

A discussion of the characteristics, types, advantages and disadvantages of action research, which is often used in areas such as organisational development, education, health and social care. This paper also includes a general structure of study.

Read the Action Research report (PDF)

Bercow: Ten Years On

An independent review of provision for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs in England.

Read the Ten Years On report (PDF)

Case Studies. Dr Tony Leach, York St John University

Researchers often refer to case studies when describing and modeling organisations and the practices within them. The case study approach is most often used when investigating something ‘in depth.’ Find out more about different types of case study, their limitations and how best to utilise them.

Read the case studies document (PDF)

Data and Assessment Hub plan – Autumn 2017 to Summer 2018

Read about key aims and activities for Learning Middlesbrough’s Data and Assessment Hub (PDF).

Ethnography. Dr Tony Leach PhD, York St John University

An approach first used in anthropology and sociology, ethnography is now being used to investigate the lived experience of culture sharing groups in education, for example teachers and teaching assistants. This paper outlines the role of ethnographers, the advantages and disadvantages of an ethnographic approach to research, and a general structure of study.

Read the ethnography report (PDF)

Growing Up North Report

Anne Longfield OBE, Children’s Commissioner of England, has launched the final report from her Growing Up North project. The report lays out the challenges facing children in the North today. It also shows that, unless we act decisively now, the gap between children in the North and those in London is likely to grow over the next fifteen years.

Anne Longfield said: “Addressing this will not be easy, but in completing this project I am confident it can be done – because I have seen enough examples across the North, including in the most deprived areas, where it is being done. The challenge is to learn from these successes, and embed this good practice across an area, throughout a child’s life. The most important aspect of this is getting support to the children who need it most.

I want us all to demand more for the children living in entrenched disadvantaged in the North. I want to work with you to make an ambitious case for more investment in support for disadvantaged children and their schools. I believe that with work together to raise achievement, opportunities and job prospects.”

The report and accompanying research can be found on the Children’s Commissioner’s website.

Metacognition and self-regulated learning

An Education Endowment Foundation guidance report offering seven practical, evidence-based recommendations to support teachers to develop metacognitive knowledge and skills in their pupils. The guidance is relevant to early years practitioners, teachers, and senior leaders in primary and secondary schools, as well as those in post-16 settings.

Read the metacognition guidance (PDF)

Metacognition and self-regulated learning

A seven theme summary of recommendations by the Education Endowment Foundation.

Read the metacognition and self-regulated learning report (PDF)

Phenomenology. Dr Tony Leach PhD, York St John University

Phenomenology is rooted in a philosophical tradition in which it is argued meanings attached to our lived-experiences in the world are social creations, and that perceptions of reality are social constructions. This paper outlines a phenomenological approach to research, examples of this approach and associated advantages and disadvantages.

Read the phenomenology report (PDF)