To read this content please select one of the options below:

Evidence-Informed Teaching in England

Mike Coldwell (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)

The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education

ISBN: 978-1-80043-142-3, eISBN: 978-1-80043-141-6

Publication date: 31 January 2022


This chapter addresses evidence-informed teaching in the English context. The chapter makes the case for considering England as having elements of both high and low social cohesion, with an increasingly narrow role for Local Authorities (districts) alongside the growth of more powerful but smaller Multi-Academy Trusts. Within the context of a highly regulated accountability regime, this places England in the hierarchist, with elements of fatalist, quadrant of the cohesion/regulation matrix. England has a well-developed infrastructure for supporting research use, including the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), a very well-resourced charity acting as the What Works Centre for school education. Despite this, use of research evidence amongst teachers is low, and this has changed little since the mid-2010s. The chapter draws on institutional theory to explain this finding. The following explanations are provided: a lack of resources, coupled with a strong, politicised accountability system and a hollowed out middle tier to support schools, contributing to a lack of prioritisation amongst school leaders. However, England's well-developed infrastructure has enabled the EEF to play a significant and evidence-led role in supporting schools in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The chapter concludes by suggesting a series of suggestions to improve use of research in England. These include alignment of policy with research evidence; support for school leaders; work to explicitly link research to the evidence forms and supporting research brokerage.



Coldwell, M. (2022), "Evidence-Informed Teaching in England", Brown, C. and Malin, J.R. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 59-68.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Mike Coldwell. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited