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Educational research

This project seeks to increase the UK’s capacity to undertake high quality educational research in order to ensure that education policy and practice are better informed by evidence.

The Royal Society believes that educational research has the potential to be of enormous benefit to improving learning outcomes and the health and well-being of society. However, there are indications that the educational research community in the UK is in decline and that overall funding for educational research has decreased in recent years.

Our programme of work is concerned with understanding more about the ‘health’ of the educational research ecosystem, examining this from the perspectives of the academic education research community, funders, policy-makers and teachers. In particular we want to identify how the ecosystem can be strengthened and made more resilient.

In addition, we are seeking to encourage research into important questions concerning science and mathematics education.

This page will continue to be updated with information about our educational research activities. 

Partnership with the British Academy 

The Royal Society and the British Academy are working together to explore how educational research can transform the education of young people and help them achieve their potential.

Partnership with the Education Endowment Foundation 

The Royal Society and the Education Endowment Foundation have co-funded a review into the connection between socio-economic disadvantage and participation and attainment of pupils in science.

Education research conference

The Royal Society held an international education research conference on the assessment of experimental science in October 2016, in conjunction with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the Nuffield Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. 

Science Education Tracker

The Royal Society has contributed to a new government-backed survey by the Wellcome Trust of young people’s views and experiences of science within and outside school, and their career aspirations. The Science Education Tracker reports the findings of a survey of more than 4,000 students in Years 10–13 (aged 14–18) attending state-funded schools in England. The full report is available at

Teacher retention seminar

On 20 March 2018 the Royal Society hosted a seminar on teacher retention in conjunction with the Association for Science Education, Institute of Physics, Royal Society of Biology and Royal Society of Chemistry.

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