EEF Associate Research School

Alexandra Park Primary School is one of seven Associate Research Schools nationally. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is a charity established to help break the link between family income and educational achievement, a mission that resonates with many of our colleagues across Stockport and Greater Manchester. The development of Associate Research Schools, who will work collaboratively with the 39 Research Schools, is part of the EEF’s strategy to significantly increase direct support for schools. Their goal is to support teachers and senior leaders to raise attainment and close the disadvantage gap, and roots its response to this educational challenge in the best available evidence.

Our goal as an Associate Research School is to help schools across the country apply evidence to improve pupil outcomes and close the disadvantage gap. Alexandra Park works closely with Aspirer Research School in Macclesfield to engage schools from a wider area.

How this is achieved:

  • summarising the best available evidence in plain language for busy, time-poor teachers and senior leaders. The Teaching and Learning Toolkit is now used by 70% of secondary schools.
  • generating new evidence of ‘what works’ to improve teaching and learning, funding independent evaluations of high-potential projects. The EEF have tested over 190 high-potential programmes with over 1.3 million children and young people and their most promising programmes have enabled students to make +3 months of additional progress in a year.
  • supporting teachers and senior leaders across the country in using this evidence to achieve the maximum possible benefit for young people.

Over a number of years, Alexandra Park has developed an evidenced-based approach to school improvement, an approach recently acknowledged in our 2019


Leaders have a strong vision for the school and ensure that all decisions are based on the findings of rigorous research.

We have a team of highly experienced and skilled teachers, who view research as an integral part of improving teaching and learning. As a school we are highly experienced in using Lesson Study and Teacher Research Groups, and these have been a key ingredient in  developing our own practice. We employ a Research Lead, Hayley Wood, who leads our staff and colleagues across the region to put research into practice and make better use of evidence. The Associate Research School is led by Phil Brooke, headteacher, and Claire Williams, deputy headteacher. Both are experienced teachers and school leaders who have worked across the primary age range. Phil  and Claire are both Maths Specialist Teachers, SLEs and Mastery Leads working for the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics) delivering training and providing school to school support across Stockport and Greater Manchester. For the last four years, Claire has also supported schools in their school improvement journey, specialising in Maths, Poverty Proofing and Pupil
Premium. Phil is passionate about professional development and has a wealth of experience implementing Professional Development models that develop learning cultures and embed evidence-informed practice.

If you would like to find out more about our work or how to get involved, please email or visit: