The Research Mark (A national award scheme for schools & colleges)

Provider: NFER

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Description A recognised national award scheme endorsing schools and colleges. Gain accreditation from NFER if you are engaging with research, in-school enquiry and evaluating evidence to help aid your key objectives. Register for Free

NFER's website
Categories Primary, Secondary, Leadership and Management, Teaching and Learning, Further education, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, Management, Support Staff, Teaching staff, Personal Development, In school, Online
Learning outcomes for participants/users and, where relevant, pupils or students

This award  provides the mark of quality research engagement in your school or college. Key benefirts include:

  • National recognition for your use of research in improving teaching and learning
  • Consultation with an NFER Research Associate to guide your improvement planning programme
  • Certification valid for 3 years. Use the logo on letterheads, social media etc
  • Help to ensure future CPD programmes are structured correctly
  • Valuable face to face feedback and report
  • Develop your practice through shared learning
  • Provides stricture to ongoing research programmes
  • Acknowledgement that your school is forward thinking and striving for improvement
  • Reflects success measures in DfE’s standards for teachers’ professional development
  • Supported by ASCL, NUT, NAHT, NUT, AoC, ATL, Education Journal and 157 Group.
Evidence underpinning this approach

The Research Mark is an award scheme developed by NFER, whom are experts at research based practice in education.

All schools that are awarded the Research Mark wil be assessed by our qualified research associates.

Schools to have been awarded the Research Mark have all used professional research, in-school enquiry and evaluated evidence to help aid their own key objectives. This has often resulted in significant success in resolving their issues, meeting their aspirations as well as helping to form ongoing practice for their school CPD and School Improvement planning.

How users/participants can evaluate success

When you are ready to move forward with the application stage of the Research Mark, you will need to answer eight questions online. Each question will relate to effective engagement with research and in-school enquiry. You may also upload supporting evidence.

An NFER Research Associate will visit your school or college to discuss and identify your achievements, whilst providing recommendations to enhance ongoing practice.

All applicants will receive a comprehensive report highlighting your successes, use of essential methodologies as well as presenting further recommendations. Based on your practice, you will then be awarded the Research Mark certificate at the designated level.


Follow-up activities and support

The Research Mark award is valid for three years. It can be re-applied for after 3 years or for schools wishing to increase their accreditation level, they can re-apply at any time (for example, sometimes schools may apply a year later having actioned several recomendations and improved their practice significantly).


This is a two stage process as detailed below:

Stage 1: Registration is free and includes a selection of downloadable guidance materials.

Stage 2: When you’re ready to proceed, the final application costs £800 (plus VAT)