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Durham University

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An Evaluation of progress towards an evidence based teaching system, including DfE’s role in facilitating progress

A research project of the School of Education.


Goldacre’s review (2013) surfaced a perennial challenge: how to make EBT a reality. The DfE’s ITT for this project sets out the challenges from both a policy and evaluation perspective. These challenges are compounded by the fact that evidence is rarely ‘applied’ in a linear way by teachers or schools: research implications are unlikely to be clear-cut and must be contextualised and combined with practice-based knowledge as part of a wider professional learning process. This makes understanding the processes through which evidence is mobilised and change occurs within and across schools particularly important in evaluating wider progress.


The project is funded by the following grant.

  • Evaluation Of Progress Towards An Evidence Based Teaching System, Including Dfe's Role In Facilitating Progress (£19095.00 from Department for Education)


The evaluation has the main aim to make an assessment of progress towards a system within which the teaching profession can improve practice through the rigorous use of robust evidence.

The evaluation has the following sub-aims that feed into the main aim above:

a) To provide an ongoing ‘live’ evidence review, that draws together major external research and findings from pilots that have happened in the last 2 years as well as further activities as they develop during the course of the evaluation.

b) To identify gaps in evidence via the live evidence review.

c) To understand the meaning/interpretation of EBT on the ground and develop a matrix of engagement, so there is clear understanding of what constitutes low, medium and high: awareness, engagement, and use of evidence.

d) To understand the extent to which EBT is embedded within DfE partner organisations/others via proxy measures.

e) To monitor internal alignment of Department policies to EBT


From the School of Education