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External Research

The Edge Foundation leads the way in supporting and commissioning research to show the value of technical and professional education, showcase best practice and understand lessons learned. We often work with partner organisations when tendering for research to ensure that the findings are as relevant as possible to colleagues across the sector.

This page provides details of any research tenders where we are currently looking for organisations or individuals to come forward to undertake pieces of work. If you have any questions about our research programme, you can contact our Head of Research, Andrea Laczik.

Current Research

School Inspection across the UK: A comparison of how school inspection contributes to school improvement in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (2019-2020)

The Edge Foundation has commissioned UCL, IoE to conduct a piece of research about the inspection regimes and how they contribute to school improvement in the four countries of the UK. The research also aims at exploring the perceptions of inspectorates and school staff. As an interlinked theme, this research may also shed light on equal opportunities in education as a broader aim. The four countries of the UK have their own inspection frameworks and structures - England introduced a new education inspection framework in Autumn 2019. Comparing and reflecting on the diverse inspection regimes and the latest experiences of Ofsted in some English schools is therefore considered timely and valuable.

Evaluation of the Edge Hotel School (2019-2020)

In 2019, The Edge Foundation commissioned the UCL Institute of Education to conduct an evaluation of the Edge Hotel School (EHS), which was founded by the Edge Foundation in partnership with the University of Essex. The EHS provides a unique model of integrated practically-based higher education, enabling students to obtain foundation or honours degrees in hospitality and events management while working alongside industry professionals in an on-site 4-star country house commercial hotel. The central focus of this evaluation has been to explore how the EHS model combines the development of theoretical and practical knowledge and skills through an action-based learning approach and to identify wider implications and lessons to be learnt for industry-engaged education. The evaluation has also sought to identify perceived challenges, key achievements and future developments envisaged by stakeholders. Read the report here.

Evaluation of the Edge Grant Fund – (2019-2021)

Edge has commissioned ICF to independently evaluate six out of eleven projects from its 2018-2019 Grant Fund. Projects vary significantly in their focus, looking at themes from project based learning to Degree Apprenticeships. Some are development projects, some focus on research and some are a combination of the two. The evaluation will examine the implementation of the six projects in order to measure their impacts and assess how these have been achieved. This will identify lessons that can contribute to better understanding the effective delivery of technical education.

Edge Future Learning Evaluation

The Edge Foundation has commissioned the International Centre for Guidance Studies University of Derby to conduct an independent evaluation of the Edge Future Learning UK Pilot. The pilot is based on the model of Academies of Nashville (USA) and will be implemented in three schools from September 2018 in the North East of England. The evaluation will capture the development phase pre-September 2018 and will gather evidence for what works and what does not work during the pilot year. The evaluation is ongoing and will be completed by Autumn 2019.

Evaluation of Career Colleges

The Edge Foundation in partnership with Commercial Education Trust commissioned the Institute of Education, UCL to conduct an independent, holistic and thorough evaluation of the Career Colleges in England. Career Colleges aim to increase the range and choice of vocational education opportunities for 14-19 year olds. The concept of Career Colleges was launched in October 2013. The concept is designed to be a flexible and alternative education for young people, through employer-designed education, with pathways into work. You can read the evaluation here.

Evaluation of the University Technical Colleges (UTCs)

The Edge Foundation jointly commissioned with the Royal Academy of Engineering a piece of research that evaluated the University Technical College (UTC) model. The aim of this piece of research was to understand effective practice and lessons learned, particularly in relation to curriculum design and employer engagement. NFER was commissioned to conduct this piece of research. The project started in 2016, you can read the interim report here, and the final report here.

Research into the CREATE Framework in Studio Schools

In partnership with the Studio Schools Network we commissioned the University of Oxford to complete a piece of research into the CREATE Framework in Studio Schools. CREATE is a tool to develop young people’s skills. The research investigated the perceptions and use of CREATE by different stakeholders and identified examples of good practices and lessons learnt for other Studio Schools and beyond. The research is complete and can be downloaded from this page.