The School provides a significant focus both for the sharing of and generation of research. We aim to increase teachers’ access to high-quality research through hosting conferences and meetings and inviting academics to lead our ‘Rush Hour Research’ event series. UoB School subject leaders have access to academic journals and are well-read and up to date. Many of our teachers already hold master’s and doctoral qualifications when they join and many more then take up opportunities for further study.

Undertaking Research at the School

We receive a high level of interest in conducting research at the School and are engaged in a significant number of projects, both local and national. Research at the School takes a variety of forms, for example participation in large randomly controlled trials, co-creation of research between academic staff, pupils and teachers, and projects led by academic teams at the School of Education. We welcome expressions of interest in research at or with the School and we would advise you discuss these at an early stage with the school. Initial enquiries should be addressed to Ann Evans, School University Relationship Officer, University of Birmingham School.

Once the University of Birmingham School has approved the research, the next stage in the process is to download and complete an applicaton form. This should be returned to Ann Evans for approval by the Advisory Group chaired by Professor Saul Becker. 

Recent Projects 


Ravi Jhalli and Dave Clark from UoBS Maths Department have now attended four of eight training days for the Increasing Confidence and Competence in Algebra and Multiplicative Structures (ICCAMS) project. As Project Leaders, they are currently delivering the sixth and seventh pairs of ICCAMS lessons to their Year 7 Sets. They are also supporting the teacher of the other two Year 7 Sets in the delivery of earlier pairs of lessons.

The project extends into 2018 with current Year 7 pupils receiving further ICCAMS teaching in their Year 8. As the project nears its conclusion, UoBS pupils along those from the other ten schools in the Midlands part of the project will be assessed. Their results will be compared to other pupils whose schools are in the project, but not delivering ICCAMS teaching. 

For more information please contact Dave Clark, University of Birmingham School. 

Schools of Virtue

The Schools of Virtue project is looking at character education across three schools in Birmingham, including 2 secondary and a primary school. The aim is to identify how character education has been implemented and to explore the effect of this.

Field work is complete and they are now analysing the data and drafting the final report which is due to be available in the Autumn.

Exploring Newness 

The research is student-led and is being supported by Ruth Till, Subject Lead for Geography and two colleagues from the School of Education at the University of Birmingham who specialise in Children’s Geography. Sophie Hadfield-Hill and Peter Kraftl who have published literature on this area. 

They have focused on four broad themes:


  • young people’s experiences of settling in within the first months of arriving in a new school and importantly a new building
  • young people’s everyday experiences of transition (from a diversity of primary and secondary schools)
  • spaces of settling-in and transition – exploring the relationship between settling-in and the building. 
  • journey’s to school and what impacts that has on the school day

Ruth has presented this research at the Researching with and for Children Conference at the University of Edinburgh (8th-9th May). More information about the conference: 

Our School Our Space


Work is continuing on the analysis of the data from the photo-elicitation interviews with children. There will be further data collection including interviews with parents, interviews with governors and with the headteacher, plus analysis of documentary sources and work on data analysis.


Motivation, physical activity and health

Between March and July 2016, 18 pupils participated in a study to examine how environment created in Physical Education and Youth Sport (e.g., by the PE teacher and coaches), may influence the reasons why young people chose to take part in PE, sport and physical activity, and how this might impact on levels of physical activity engagement. Pupils were asked to complete questionnaires, have their height, weight and body composition measured, and to wear a physical activity monitor for a week. This study is one of many being led by Professor Joan Duda at the University of Birmingham in this area. It is expected that results will contribute to the evidence base which demonstrates that PE teachers and Youth sport coaches play a central role in promoting enjoyment of PE and sport, which is related to levels of physical activity among school-aged children (e.g., Fenton et al., 2014, Fenton et al., 2015, Appleton and Duda 2016). 

For more information please contact Joan Duda, University of Birmingham

Making wiser choices online

The Jubilee Centre is running some research with a number of schools, including The University of Birmingham School, relating to moral choices online. 

The project has involved students from certain classes receiving a short four session programme of study exploring moral dilemmas, virtue reasoning and virtue literacy associated with using the internet and online activity.  Their current understanding is tested at the beginning of the first session through answering questions around a moral dilemma; and then tested again after the fourth session is completed. This is then scored and evaluated by staff at the University to assess if any change in knowledge and application has occurred.  Other classes, who are not doing the four session programme of study at this time, are also tested at the same time also using a moral dilemma exercise. These classes act as a control group allowing the staff at the University create a baseline measure.

Adam Hamflett, Subject Lead for Computer Science has been running sessions with students taking part in the programme of intervention and also students who are part of the control group, and administering the tests. Once all the data is received, it will be evaluated and a report produced. It is hoped that this will form the basis for a larger nationwide study to be undertaken by the University in the future. 

For more information please contact Lee Rogerson, University of Birmingham

Collaborative artist teacher practice

The proposal is to undertake a pilot study that adapts a CPD summer School workshop normally conducted at Birmingham School of Art for a classroom environment. The pilot (and the consequent longer term study) seeks to address failings in previous research into Artist Teacher CPD run by the Arts Council and the NSEAD (National Society for Art & Design) by moving the focus of the research from the gallery / university context to the art classroom. For more information contact Carol Wild, Birmingham City University 

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