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21st November 2014 - Conference preview - Prof Bette Chambers: Latest evidence behind the most effective interventions and approaches

Prof Bette Chambers

We asked Interventions with Impact 2015 conference keynote speaker, Prof Bette Chambers from the Director of the Institute for Effective Education, some questions about the work she is currently involved in.

1. Can you tell us about the intervention research that the Institute for Effective Education is currently involved in? What can schools look forward to?

There are a large number of evaluations that we and others are doing to find out what works in primary and secondary education. At the IEE we are currently involved in evaluations of several science CDP programmes, several parenting programmes, one explicitly designed to improve young children’s reading ability, a multifaceted CPD programme for secondary schools, a flipped learning intervention, and ways to help school leaders get research-proven practices implemented in their schools.

2. What advice would you give school leaders looking to replicate the high-impact of evidence-based interventions?

One of the biggest hurdles in finding out whether interventions work is getting them implemented with fidelity to the model. Our advice would be for leaders to pay close attention to getting a high level of implementation fidelity. That means ensuring that all staff members complete the training and participate in any follow-up support provided. Someone on the schools staff should be responsible for monitoring implementation and arranging for coaching when necessary. Pupils’ progress in the targeted outcomes should be carefully monitored to see if the intervention is really making a difference. Sometimes teachers and pupils think that an intervention is working when it isn’t.

3. You’re always looking for schools to get involved in ongoing Randomised Controlled Trials – what’s in it for schools to get involved in research into high-impact interventions?

The main way that schools benefit from being involved in research into high-impact interventions is that they are contributing to the knowledge bank about what works to improve outcomes for children, so in the future there will be better guidance and better programmes available. In a more immediate way schools have a 50% chance of getting free materials, training and support. Sometimes, they have a 100% chance of receiving the resources; it is just a question of when. Some schools are organised so that the control receive the intervention after the trial is finished.

Hear from Prof Chambers at our Interventions with Impact conferences in 2015. View the full programme and book your place now.

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