AN INNOVATIVE Research School designed to boost the quality of teaching across Oldham has been launched this week.

The new initiative aims to strengthen networks of schools and help them access education research to apply in the classroom.

As one of 12 opportunity areas across the country, Oldham is receiving government funding to improve social mobility and ensure children get the best start in life, whatever their background.

The Research School is part-funded through the Government’s opportunity areas programme and part of a joint initiative between the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Institute for Effective Education (IEE).

Oldham’s Research School, which will be run by Teamworks Teaching School Alliance at The Greetland Academy, Halifax, aims to become the focal point of evidence-based best practice and build networks between schools in Oldham.

They will develop a programme of support and events to get more teachers using research evidence in ways that make a difference in the classroom.

During the launch event at RC Newman College on Broadway, Chadderton, teachers and Oldham Research School colleagues heard from guest speakers and discussed the first steps towards the creation of a local network.

Keynote speaker, Estelle Morris, former education secretary and chair of the Oldham Education Skills Commission, said: “Other professions, such as medicine, agriculture and engineering look at the research available and alter their working based on the evidence available to them. As a profession teachers are far more likely to pass on best practice anecdotally rather than through research.

“A research school can bring the world of education research and the world of teaching together, empowering teachers to put evidence based practice into their classrooms and improve the quality of teaching for students as well as evaluate their own practices.”

The Research School will provide accessible summaries of educational research and blogs about education evidence to all schools in Oldham as well as evidence-based training and support that is open to all of the borough’s schools.

Dr Joanne Pearson, head of Teamworks Teaching School Alliance and head of the Oldham Research School, said: “Research has enormous potential to enhance all of our practice and we look forward to working together with schools in Oldham to connect practitioners and children to the best that evidence has to offer.”

Cllr Amanda Chadderton, cabinet member for education and early years, also praised the launch of the school as an “asset” which can build on the work of the Oldham Education and Skills Commission.

Cllr Chadderton added: “In Oldham we’re committed to delivering an education system which works for every child in our borough and the introduction of this Research School can help us achieve this.”