Centre for Teaching and Learning Research (CTLR)

Sussex Research Network

The 'Sussex Research Network: Schools-University Partnership' is an innovative partnership between the Department of Education at the University of Sussex and eight local schools.

Building partnerships that integrate research and school improvement are now key in education and are part of the national, local and international agendas. The purpose of the Sussex Research Network is to undertake collaborative research and capacity building to create useful educational knowledge. The spirit of this model is to work together to build the capacity of Teaching School Alliances and of individual schools and academies so that their staff can research their own practice, by training nominated colleagues to become School Research Leaders (SRLs). In addition, we aim to undertake research which generates new knowledge to benefit all schools, as well as meeting the needs of individual institutions.  

Two teacher researchers, or Research Leaders, from each partner school are enrolled on the MA or Postgraduate certificate courses, preparing them to become research leaders in their school and subsequently drive and develop research projects within and across school communities and partnerships. The Sussex Research Network offers schools not only a dedicated route for developing school-driven research agendas, but also helps partners foster and develop the talent of their staff. This will protect the retention of established practitioners and provide possible foundations for promotional opportunities. 

Each school partner is supported by a senior member of the university's Faculty, who will act as a critical colleague to the school and participants. The university offers advice on whole-school research, facilitates access to resources and supports the partner through bespoke training, in termly visits.