About Self-Review

 Download our privacy notice

To drive your CPD / School improvement plans with maximum impact, your school needs to be research engaged.

This free online tool is the starting place for your journey, measuring your individual or whole-school research engagement levels. It will highlight ongoing progress, guide your next steps and pinpoint useful resources. The evidence shows that by engaging with research and in enquiry, schools will improve. “Schools that adopt a culture of enquiry, underpinned by an understanding of academic or professional research, are also most likely to improve teaching and learning and improve outcomes for young people” (CUREE, 2011).

Using the Self-Review Tool

Use the tool for a ‘Quick review’ or a ‘Full review.’ The former is a lighter-touch option that requires no log-in, and will give you an idea of what the review looks at as well as providing you with suggestions of resources relevant to you. The full version, meanwhile, allows all members of staff within the school to undertake the review giving you the complete picture and different perspectives by role.

The full review allows you to save results for use in tracking progress over time and gives you a PDF report with next steps and resources that can be downloaded and shared with stakeholders.

Following the review

  • Share and discuss results with your stakeholders, including different opinions from staff members.
  • Build an action plan using the report to guide ‘next steps‘ / recommended resources, filtering by role
  • Link your action plan to your school improvement plan, using research and enquiry to focus on your key objectives for school improvement
  • Ensure departments/ teams work towards research-based school improvement objectives
  • Allow teachers to trial different approaches to teaching and learning based on research and enquiry
  • Ask your staff to repeat the 'Full Review' in a year's time
  • Compare the results
  • Update your action plan, again linked to your school improvement plan

The eight key statements have been developed by NFER researchers in collaboration with teachers and other education professionals to show what a research-engaged school/organisation looks like. The statements cover the following areas:



1) Leadership and vision

2) Learning and participation

3) Managing resources


4) Setting priorities

5) Rigorous methodology

6) Impact


7) Embedding and sustaining

8) Working collaboratively