By Dr Jo Neary
The Network for Social and Educational Equity (NSEE) is currently establishing an expert practitioner panel, with the aim of developing an on-going relationship between leading practitioners in the system, and the researchers at the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change, where NSEE is based.
Much of our current NSEE work focuses on the academic team visiting schools to deliver training and support on collaborative action research and to establish local enquiry networks. However, with the introduction of the expert practitioner panel, there is an opportunity to bring education practitioners closer to the research environment.
The panel’s purpose is to facilitate the exchange of contemporary thinking between the school system and the Robert Owen Centre. This includes providing our panel members with cutting edge research insights on issues such as curriculum design, examinations and health and wellbeing, but also provides a space for them to share their best practice with one another.
A key dimension of the panel is that is cuts across local authority lines and creates a space for leading practitioners from six local authorities to come together.
As well as attending webinars and seminars, members of the panel also will be invited to participate in focus groups, interviews, or surveys. At times, this may be driven by local or national government calls for evidence, or by the academic team’s research agenda. As part of the panel, all members will receive a copy of any reports written and will be encouraged to share these within their local networks.
Each member of the panel becomes an associate of the Robert Owen Centre, and of the Network for Social and Educational Equity. Currently, this opportunity is open to schools within the West Partnership Regional Improvement Collaborative, with the anticipated aim to make these network nationwide within the next three years.
Professor Chris Chapman, director of Policy Scotland and the Network for Social and Educational Equity, said “The expert practitioner panel has the potential to redefine relationships between researchers and practitioners and increase the flow of evidence, knowledge and ideas around the education system.
“This provides the opportunity for some of our leading practitioners to inform the thinking of researchers and vice versa, bringing research and practice closer together as we strive to tackle educational inequities.
“The creation of the panel could not be more timely as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact adversely on our children’s learning, health and wellbeing and exacerbate social and educational inequities.”
The formal launch of the panel will be December 2020, with the date to be confirmed.