Research Action Partnerships unite teachers' professional knowledge with academic research to improve teaching and learning.

Exeterpartner Research Community

The Exeterpartner Research Community is a new and evolving initiative. To register your interest, please contact Annabel Watson.


Autumn term 2018

Thursday October 18th

SWEET/Chartered College event: Education and Social Justice. For more information see


Our research community is designed to support outstanding educational practice through bringing together teachers, researchers in education, and experts and practitioners from other fields to develop innovative and rigorous approaches to teaching and learning. We offer a wide range of opportunities for schools to get involved in research, and a range of tools and expertise for schools to draw on in developing their own research-informed teaching.

Joining our research community

All institutions which become part of our community will have the opportunity to make use of open access tools and participate in our networks and research seminars. We then offer options which include modules accredited at Masters’ level, or support which is specifically tailored to your needs. The Exeterpartner Research Community is linked to our Chartered College of Teaching regional hub, South West Excellence in Education for Teachers (SWEET), which runs free termly CPD events.

Open Access resources

ExPLAIN Start by joining our professional learning and inquiry network. This will link you with other partners and provide access to seminars, research teas, a newsletter and blogs.
Other GSE Research Networks

Our research networks pull together members of staff and postgraduate students who share common research interests and allow a flexible way to explore different themes. Some networks have facebook groups or blogs, and all would welcome involvement from external partners.

Research Centres Link up with our world-leading research centres to find out about current or future projects.
Research Seminar Series View our programme of open research seminars. Recordings of previous seminars are available on request.

Accredited options 

MA Education

A range of flexible options allows individual teachers or groups from your school to develop expertise with MA accreditation (10% discount for groups of 10 or more from a single institution or alliance).
TESOL Options We offer a range of TESOL options including an intensive summer course, MEd, MPhil, PhD and EdD. Some TESOL modules may be used towards the MA Education award.
Flexible Study module A 60 credit MA Education module designed to support a group of at least 10 teachers wishing to investigate a particular issue together. 

Bespoke Research Support

We can provide tailored support for engagement with research, ranging from one-off CPD to a Research Action Partnership in which we provide input across a full academic year (or longer) to enable a group of teachers or other education practitioners to develop and evaluate practice in a rigorous, informed and impact-driven way. The format, timings and input are flexible: we can respond to what you need.
An example outline of a full Research Action partnership follows.

Day 1 Initiation Identification of the focus of enquiry; collaborative design of a research action process and timeline; shared reading and introduction to relevant research methods; establishing pilot enquiry activities.
Day 2 Development Taught input on the focus of enquiry; sharing of outcomes of the pilot enquiry activities; revision of research action processes, if required; shared reading and further development of relevant research methods.
Day 3 Implementation Collaborative discussion on progress and reflections on the focus of enquiry; shared reading; input on appropriate data analysis methods; initial collaborative data analysis.
Day 4 Data analysis Collaborative analysis of data in teams; shared reading; input on critical interpretation of data; discussion of preliminary findings.
Day 5 Presentation and dissemination Presentation of findings; collaborative discussion of implications for institution policy and practice; establishment of a dissemination plan at the institution, regional and national level, if appropriate.

Contact Annabel Watson if you are interested in pursuing tailored support.

Why join our Research Community?

The ultimate aim is to improve teaching and learning in your institution through engaging with research, participating in a network in which partners from schools, university and other institutions support each other, and accessing support for research which is tailored your own institutional needs, issues and context.
We offer the option of gaining Masters level accreditation for some options, and aim to provide a flexible, tailored, collaborative approach to any bespoke research support.
The Graduate School of Education has a long-established track record of working in partnerships with schools and colleges and an in-depth understanding of the sector. We are:

  • 6th in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research in Education
  • Ranked 3rd amongst university providers of initial teacher training in the Good Teacher Training Guide 2017
  • Top 150 in the world for Education (QS World University Rankings 2017)
  • PhD studentships available through the ESRC South West Doctoral Training Centre - a hub of world-class social sciences research
  • Recognised by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) and Ofsted as an outstanding provider of Primary and Secondary teacher education
  • Home to one of the largest education libraries in the UK.

Why do teachers need to engage with research?

Recent large-scale research by the EEF (Education Endowment Foundation) suggests that there may be a relationship between teacher engagement with research and the attainment of their pupils: Read here.

However, the studies also found that the nature and quality of teacher engagement is crucial. Significant challenges included lack of time and staff turnover among research champions. Traditional one-way dissemination of research appears to bear very little impact - so teachers simply reading or hearing about the results of research does little to benefit their students. Read here.

For these reasons, we are passionate about involving teachers in research, either through working with schools and teachers as participants in our own research projects, providing accredited Masters and Doctoral level programmes for teachers, or through providing bespoke research support for groups of teachers.