Enquiring Schools Programme (CPD course by NFER)

Provider: NFER
£399.00 + VAT per person
Accreditation opportunities: Includes application fee for the NFER Research Mark

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Description A tailored CPD programme built around your enquiry-based school projects. This fresh approach to teacher development and school improvement explains key methodologies, delivers ongoing guidance and helps you drive high impact teaching and learning. Please contact us for more information.
Duration Typically 3 - 5 sessions (dates as required)

NFER's website

Categories Primary, Secondary, Leadership and Management, Teaching and Learning, Further education, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, Management, Support Staff, Teaching staff, Assistant Headteacher, CPD Leader, Deputy Headteacher, Headteacher, Head of year / Pastoral leader, Business Manager, Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Administration Staff, Learning Support, Pupil Support, Advanced Skills Teacher, Excellent Teacher, Main-scale (core) teacher, Newly Qualified Teacher, Post-threshold Teacher, Pupil mentor, Supply / Peripatetic teacher, Teacher trainer, Head of Department / Faculty, Personal Development, Coaching and Mentoring, CPD Leadership, Performance Management, Organisational Improvement, In school, Team lesson planning/teaching, Speech / Seminar, Governor, Collaborative Learning, Feedback, Teacher Enquiry, Coaching / Mentoring, Tasks are designed carefully so that working together is effective and efficient, Provides approaches for specific, accurate and clear feedback , Supports effective professional development for teachers, Monitoring Impact
Learning outcomes for participants/users and, where relevant, pupils or students

The Enquiring Schools programme is a tailored service available to aid individual schools, school alliances / clusters and colleges. Key benefits include:

  • Inspire your pupils, through development, innovation and improvement
  • Stimulate collaborative enquiry projects, motivating and energising staff
  • Guidance for teachers and senior leaders
  • Obtain a sustainable approach to improve the quality of your teaching and learning
  • Develop capacity for self-reflection
  • Meet your school improvement objectives or respond to issues highlighted by Oftsed
  • Specialised training related to your projects
  • Access to key resources
  • Bespoke to number of sessions required
  • Apply for the Research Mark at no extra cost
  • Knowledge from NFER trusted facilitators
Evidence underpinning this approach

Research findings from the OECD show that the quality of teaching is the biggest influence on pupil achievement. While there are many ways of improving teaching and different forms of professional development, evidence indicates that CPD which has the characteristics listed below has the best outcomes for students. The Enquiring Schools programme offers an approcach in line with all these characteristics:

Characteristics of good CPD:

  • Focused on aspirations for students
  • Explores evidence from trying out new things, relating practice to theory, so practitioners can adopt new approaches using the concepts underpinning them
  • Collaborative
  • Sustained over time
  • Structured dialogue and group work
  • Supported by specialist expertise, usually drawn from beyond the learning setting
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Collaboration within and between schools


How users/participants can evaluate success

All schools are offered free access to the NFER Self-Review Tool (https://www.nfer.ac.uk/schools/research-in-schools/self-review-tool-for-research-engagement-in-schools/ ) to measure their level of engagement with research engagement. This is key for schools wanting to drive their CPD and School improvement planning with maximum impact.

This free online Self-Review Tool is the starting place for your journey, measuring your individual or full school research engagement levels. It will highlight ongoing progress,  guide your next steps and pinpoint useful resources. Ongoing, the tool can also be used to benhmark your progress.

The Enquiring Schools programme facilitator will work with the school and teachers involved to help plan, drive and evaluate your project objectives, celebrating achievement in the final session. Furthermore, all schools purchasing the Enquiring Schools programme can apply for the NFER Research Mark at no additional cost. This is a national accreditation scheme which awards schools for their achievements in research engagement. 

Follow-up activities and support

The NFER Enquiring Schools facilitator will work closely with each school to structure the course to their nees, focussing of the key objectives / projectsa of the school. As a result, the school, will be guided through each session with key knowledge, methodologies and researc. Furthermore, help will be given around the schools own projects they are embarking on utilising their engagement with research and in enquiry. This will help to drive the follow up activities for a school / teacher.


The Enquiring Schools programme, described below, is tailored to meet the pressures on your school, the level of support you require and whether you are a primary, secondary, school cluster or college. Schools often make the programme a key part of their CPD programme, utilising training days and staff meetings. Bespoke programmes with more or less sessions are available

The programme

A strategic planning session for school leaders
The Enquiring Schools Head of Learning will work with your senior leadership team to identify how your school will implement the programme and the level of support required.

An Enquiring Schools launch event
A special introductory workshop led by your facilitator and the Enquiring Schools Head of Learning.

In school facilitation and support from a dedicated expert
Our expert facilitators  visit your school (and provide online support ) to guide you through the seven-step enquiry process. Visits can include workshops, research reviews, support locating relevant research, one to one meetings, coaching sessions, specialised training and discussions at staff meetings according to your needs. The number of visits required is agreed with you before starting the programme.

• Festival of learning
The end of the programme celebrates your learning by sharing experiences across your team and planning how you will take the enquiry process forward.  The NFER Research Mark will be presented if awarded.

In addition, the following resources are provided:

  • Explorer Toolkit
  • Research Insights; Summaries of published research with in class ideas
  • ‘How to....’ guides: Concise advise about different aspects of research



This course does not have any pre-booked dates available. Please contact the provider directly to arrange this training.