Research & Development

The DTSA is working with the University of Derby to expand research and development across the Alliance. The University has recently been awarded Grade 1 (Outstanding) from Ofsted for Initial Teacher Education and Further Education and ‘Good’ for Secondary School Direct and Early Years programme.

The new Institute of Education was launched on March 2nd 2016 (more details can be found at

Dr Val Poultney has, over the past two years, been working closely with primary schools to develop and research evidence-based teaching. A year’s pilot at Allenton Primary School has seen some fantastic outcomes, not just in terms of raising standards but for staff profiles, culminating in conference presentations and a recent paper published by the Teacher Advancement Education Network or TEAN.

The paper can be accessed at

Val is also working with Brackensdale Junior School on similar research, but with a different approach. We feel this work is making a significant difference to pupils, staff and school culture.

We would like to hear from other schools (primary and secondary) who would like to engage in this type of work, so if that is your school, then please get in touch with Val (details below).

Other research

As part of our commitment to local schools (and wider) we offer different approaches to research which might include evaluation of a particular project the school has undertaken or evaluation of a CPD programme.

For schools undertaking lesson study one of the areas maybe less well understood is around how to undertake classroom observation to collect quality data or which approaches would be best in capturing, for example, student voice. We can also offer advice on how to analyse school data and ways in which these data can be presented.

If you would like any further information about research then contact Val: or 01332 591 416.


Dr Val Poultney has been an academic at the University of Derby since 2003 and prior to that a secondary school science teacher, middle and senior leader. Her research interests are currently focused on evidence-based teaching/teacher inquiry and the ways in which school leadership can support this approach to pedagogy, school governance and school leadership and management. Val
is research active and works within the Institute of Education, teaching on Initial Teacher Education programmes and postgraduate programmes, including PhD and Doctor of Education (EdD).