Education Endowment Foundation:Using research evidence

Using research evidence

Understand, identify, and examine research evidence.

Evidence’ is a broad term that means different things in education. Sometimes, it refers to information collected by schools, such as pupil assessment data. Other times, evidence’ is used to describe the findings from research conducted by academics or researchers.

What is research evidence’?

Evidence generated through research – referred to as research evidence’ – is the product of any study that follows a systematic process for collecting and analysing information. Research evidence can summarise learning from thousands of schools and teachers and provide best bets’ on which practices are most likely to support teaching and learning. Using research evidence well can therefore support teachers and leaders to refine their practice or make strategic decisions which make best use of time, effort, and funding.

Research evidence can vary in reliability, however, and it is not always easy to identify the strengths and limitations of different sources.

This page provides resources to help those working in education – within and outside of schools – with tools for accessing, critiquing, and applying evidence from research to practice.

Using research evidence – a concise guide

Our guide gives an overview of different types of education evidence, what they can be used for, and what their limitations might be.

Find out more about research