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The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), one of the UK’s leading independent research organisations, has launched a new Self-Review Tool for schools and colleges to review their engagement with research and signpost to relevant resources to help them move along their research journey.


The tool is interactive and available online, and is free to use. It has been developed in collaboration with teachers and other education professionals, to help schools and colleges gain an understanding of how research-engaged their school really is and provide the basis for on-going improvement plans.

The tool has been developed from a rich evidence base of research engagement in schools, giving a trusted framework to work with.  It takes users step-by-step through eight key statements, and recognises five stages of engagement, from ‘starting out’ right through to ‘going beyond’ to help with progress planning.


Many schools and colleges will already be taking steps to become more research engaged, and the Self-Review Tool is an ideal mechanism to help with this process. The schools that helped develop the tool recognised that research engagement is a journey and the tool can be used to help identify where in this journey staff members feel their school or college is.


The Self-Review Tool is ideal for use by heads of professional development, research leads or senior leaders as a way of understanding the current situation before moving on to develop an action plan. After completing the review, users will get access to a downloadable chart and report of the results, including suggested next steps. Links to tailored resources, some free, some paid for, are provided to help with improvement plans.