Director of Professional Learning Institute, Summit Learning Trust.
One of our core principles at Summit Learning Trust’s Professional Learning Institute is to utilise research and evidence-based practice to drive forward long-term developments. Serving over 7500 across the 4 Primary Schools, 3 Secondary Schools and a Sixth Form College in Birmingham and Solihull, the Professional Learning Institute promotes the development of all of our people with the view to providing the highest quality educational experiences to our learners. Integral to quality first provision is an offer of high-quality professional learning. The breadth and depth of materials and opportunities offered by the Chartered College of Teaching form part of the PLI offer to help us in achieving our goals.
As with other areas of education, there has been an explosion of initiatives and information regarding evidence-informed practice and research-rich schools, however, as busy practitioners, it can be difficult to filter through the vast array of resources which are out there, and to identify the research/evidence that offers the ‘best bets’ most relevant to an individual’s context. With so much available, there is a danger of individuals feeling overwhelmed or daunted by the sheer volume, or the process of getting started on evidence-based research/practice. One of the fantastic aspects of the Chartered College of Teaching’s Certificate in Evidence-Informed Practice is the support and structure the course provides, walking the practitioner through the why, what, and how of engaging in research. Like all good quality professional learning, the Certificate in Evidence-Informed Practice offers simultaneous challenge and support, an element of choice to promote ownership, and flexibility to allow for high levels of engagement.
In May 2021 a number of colleagues from Summit Learning Trust signed up for the Certificate in Evidence-Informed Practice, including our Summit Lead Practitioners, the Head of Cognition and Learning Resource Base, and a number of Teaching Assistants. Teresa Middleton, a Summit Lead Practitioner in Science, commented:
The course covered key educational research evidence in the form of reading and videos, plus links to further useful sources. I liked the fact that there was an audio option for the written parts of the course. The content in the different sections of the course helped me when making my choice of the assessment question. The additional support and advice to help me with the assessment was very useful. Overall, the course was informative and has certainly helped me develop skills in identifying and using relevant research to inform my own practice.
Building on the success of this cohort, the plan is for these experiences of the course, and the findings of the assessments, to be shared at an information event, where we hope to see even more of our colleagues sign up for the Certificate in Evidence-Informed Practice. We are looking forward to seeing engagement in the certificate grow and the subsequent benefits it will bring to learners and colleagues across Summit Learning Trust.