What we do

We work with schools and other organisations to develop and embed evidence-informed practices. Primarily we focus on practitioner inquiry as a model for school improvement. Our work is based on a view of school improvement as a complex intervention.

What’s a complex intervention? 

A complex intervention is simply “an intervention with several interacting components” (Craig et al, 2008). The rationale for complex interventions is that the marginal gains that may result from any individual area of practice will stack up and interact to produce a larger effect size overall. 

This idea is widespread in medicine and other fields. However, in education such thinking is almost entirely absent. Instead, we are awash with “endless ‘silver bullets’… the new initiatives that appear each month from people who claim they know how to fix educational underachievement” (Allen, 2017).

In an 8-year study carried out by researchers from the University of Cambridge, our ‘complex intervention’ approach to school improvement led to significant gains in student attainment, and the gap between disadvantaged students and their peers (the so-called Pupil Premium gap) closed from 25% to 2% in the space of a year (Mannion & Mercer, 2016).

Host a workshop for free

See below for 15 different workshops. If you like the look of one, drop us a line using the green button in the sidebar. Schools that host our workshops get four or six free places. Here are our workshop titles – scroll for details:

  • Metacognition across the curriculum
  • Self-regulation across the curriculum
  • Oracy across the curriculum
  • Effective feedback
  • Learning through philosophical enquiry
  • Cognitive science across the curriculum
  • Learning Skills lessons
  • Planning for transfer
  • Developing and embedding a whole-school language of learning
  • Thinking and reasoning skills
  • Students as researchers
  • How to run effective group work
  • Public speaking
  • Harness the power of debate
  • Practitioner research

How a complex intervention builds over time

To find out how we can help your organisation become a beacon of evidence-informed practice, drop us a line!