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Best Evidence in Brief: Free, fortnightly round-up of education research news

Better: Evidence-based Education: Magazine exploring effective practice

Evidence4Impact: Easy-to-use database of education programmes

A Book for Governors: Must-read book for school governors

Best Evidence Encyclopaedia: Which educational programmes have good evidence?

Education in Conflict and Emergencies: IEE and PRDU joint initiative


The Institute for Effective Education (IEE), based at the University of York, is working to establish what works in learning and teaching — and why.

We conduct rigorous evaluations of education programmes and practices. Our research is mainly focused on literacy, numeracy, and science in the UK and overseas, but also includes early childhood education, parenting, widening participation, and the effective use of technology.

We work closely with schools, policy makers, and other researchers to share knowledge and build support for evidence-based education in policy and practice.

We welcome applications from postgraduate students. Watch our new video to find out more.


  • University of York and University of Nairobi collaboration seeks to transform Kenyan education: Professor Frank Hardman today attended a signing ceremony in Nairobi with the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nairobi, Professor Peter Mbithi. The two universities are collaborating on a project to improve teaching methods and investigate the impact of cross-age peer tutoring in Kenyan schools.
  • Assessing the effects of ICT on Learning Outcomes 21-22 April 2015: Professor Bette Chambers gave a presentation Effect Assessment: country case study 1 at the Assessing the Effects of ICT on Learning Outcomes workshop in Tromsø, Norway, hosted by the Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education.

  • Put teaching at the heart of improvements in educational quality: Professor Frank Hardman has suggested a major re-appraisal of teaching methods to help transform educational opportunities for millions of children in the developing world in a background paper for the UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report.

  • Replicate what works: Professor Bette Chambers is among leading academics quoted by TES magazine in an article about the importance of replication in education research. The article was in response to a study that revealed that only 0.13 per cent of education research studies tested the outcomes of previous research. We reported previously on the same study in our Best Evidence in Brief e-newsletter and blog.
  • Evidence for the Frontline: A new initiative that helps bridge the gap between academic research and its practical use in the classroom. Teachers and school leaders can submit a question online or call a helpline and speak to a trained ‘broker’ who will use their expertise to support them in making evidence-based decisions in their schools. The broker will help explain their query and direct them to web-based resources, researchers engaged in the field or practitioners who have addressed their question. The IEE is the research partner in this project, which is supported by a grant from the Education Endowment Foundation.

  • Incredible Years E-SEE trial: A pioneering research project led by the University of York will evaluate newly-developed programmes that aim to improve the social and emotional wellbeing of children under two and their parents. The four-year project is led by the IEE at York, with colleagues from the University’s Departments of Health Sciences, Social Work and Social Policy and Centre for Health Economics. The multi-disciplinary research team aim to evaluate the effectiveness and acceptability of Incredible Years (IY) Parent Programmes for 0-2 year-olds. The project is backed by a £1.85 million grant from the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research).
  • ESRC Research Seminar 25 March 2015
    The fifth ESRC seminar looked at the challenges of conducting education evaluations in real-world settings. The speakers were Richard Cookson from the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York, Gretchen Bjornstad from the Social Research Unit at Dartington, and Colin Waterman, Director of the National Implementation Service (NIS).
  • CEBEI Annual Conference 5 March 2015
    Dr Tracey Bywater is opening the Centre for Evidence Based Early Intervention (CEBEI) Annual Conference at Bangor University and presenting Reviewing successes and barriers of the randomised controlled trial design; lessons learned and future directions. Dr Nic Gridley is presenting Impact of the Incredible Years Toddler programme on parental language.
  • Transforming Kenyan education: Professor Frank Hardman is leading a major project looking into ways to improve teaching methods in Kenyan primary schools.
  • Lessons from Somalia: Professor Frank Hardman gave a public lecture at University College, London, Institute of Education, entitled The role of education in building peaceful societies: lessons from Somalia. The talk was part of a seminar series coordinated through the Network for Research in Education, Conflict and Emergencies that brings together academics, practitioners, and policy makers who research, work, and formulate policies to support education in humanitarian crises including, violent conflicts, and natural disasters. It is designed to create an opportunity for critical debates on the subfield of education and conflict, and promote an understanding of the interactions between education in emergencies and international development.

    Professor Hardman’s talk focused on the findings from a recent study commissioned by UNICEF on the role of education in peace building in Somalia, and the policies and interventions that are needed to address the drivers of conflict and contribute to conflict prevention, social transformation, civic engagement, and economic progress. (January 2015)

  • New article: Evidence and Policy has published a paper by Jonathan Sharples and Mary Sheard Developing an evidence-informed support service for schools – reflections on a UK model (January 2015)

Forthcoming events

  • ESRC Research Seminar Series: The sixth and final ESRC Research Seminar will be held at Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, on 19 June 2015. This FREE event is for research funders and commissioners, policy makers, researchers, and others with an interest in the practicalities of running large research projects in education. The presenters are Gill Hampden-Thompson (University of Sussex) and Andy Biggart (School of Education at Queen’s University, Belfast).
  • Research Methods Summer School: Our introductory two-day course about research methods in the social sciences will take place on 28/29 July 2015 in York.
  • IEE Conference: Our next conference is on 16-17 March 2016 in York.

For more, see our news and events pages
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Last Updated: April 24, 2015 | Webmaster, iee

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