Research Informed School self-Evaluation (RISE)

What is RISE?

Research Informed School Self Evaluation (RISE) is an approach that involves schools and teachers using research-based evidence to evaluate and improve their practices. It emphasises the use of data and research findings to inform decision-making and drive improvements in teaching and learning.

Here’s why RISE is important for schools and teachers:

  • Evidence-based decision-making: RISE encourages schools and teachers to rely on research and data-driven evidence rather than working solely on personal opinions or assumptions. This ensures that decisions regarding curriculum, teaching methods, and student support are informed by proven strategies and best practices.

  • Improved student outcomes: By using the RISE, schools and teachers can identify areas of strength and weaknesses in their practices. This allows them to make targeted improvements that can lead to better student outcomes, such as improved academic performance, more enjoyable learning and personal development.

  • Professional growth and development: RISE can promote a culture of continuous improvement and professional development. Those involved in education can use research findings to reflect on teaching methods and identify areas for growth. By engaging in evidence-informed practices, teachers can enhance their instructional strategies and stay updated with the latest research in their field.

  • Resource allocation: RISE helps schools make informed decisions about allocating resources effectively. By analysing data and research, schools can identify areas that require additional support or investment. For example, if research suggests that early literacy interventions have a significant impact on student achievement, schools can allocate resources to provide targeted support in that area.

  • Accountability and transparency: RISE provides a framework for schools to demonstrate accountability and transparency to stakeholders, including children, parents, policymakers, and the wider community. By using research and data to inform their practices, schools can showcase their commitment to evidence-informed decision-making and continuous improvement.

Example: A school using RISE to improve reading comprehension. The school collects data on students’ reading levels and performance, and also reviews existing research on effective reading strategies. Based on the data and research, the school identifies that a significant number of students struggle with inferential comprehension skills.

Using the RISE approach, teachers collaborate to develop targeted teaching strategies to address this issue. They implement evidence-based instructional practices, such as explicit teaching of inferential skills followed by opportunities for guided practice, and offering personalised feedback. The school regularly monitors the impact of these strategies through data analysis and adjusts their approach as needed.

Over time, the school observes improvements in students’ inferential comprehension skills, as evidenced by higher reading assessment scores in tests that measure inferential comprehension. Informal observations and questioning show more student engagement with reading as the inferential reading activities communicate that teachers are interested in what the students are reading. In this way RISE can enable schools and teachers to make evidence-based decisions, leading to improved student outcomes and professional growth.

Why You Should Use RISE to Improve Your School

School improvement can be a complex and challenging process that requires careful planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Schools need to use evidence-informed practices that are aligned with their goals, needs, and specific needs. Finding and applying relevant research, however, can be difficult and time-consuming for busy school leaders and teachers.

That is why MESHGuides have developed RISE: Research-Informed School self-Evaluation. RISE is a toolkit that helps schools to assess their current level of research-informed practice and plan for improvement. RISE is based on a vast experience of school leadership, innovation in pedagogy, and research in general across the education sector in the UK and in other countries across the world.

Here are some of the advantages that RISE has over other school improvement methods

 – RISE is comprehensive and holistic. It covers four key domains of school practice: leadership, learning, accountability, and community. It also considers the different levels of research engagement: informed, engaged, and leading.

RISE is flexible and adaptable. It allows schools to choose the most relevant indicators and evidence sources for their context. It also provides guidance on how to use different types of research, such as external, internal, or collaborative.

RISE is practical and user-friendly. It provides a clear and simple process for self-evaluation and improvement planning. It also offers a range of tools and resources to support schools in their journey, such as checklists, rubrics, templates, examples, and links to further information.

RISE is collaborative and supportive. It encourages schools to involve all stakeholders in the process, such as staff, students, parents, governors, and external partners. It also connects schools with the MESHGuides community of practice, where they can access peer support, feedback, and recognition.

RISE can help schools address some of the difficult challenges they face today.

For example:

RISE can help schools cope with the uncertainty and complexity of the post-pandemic recovery. It can help schools identify their strengths and areas for development, prioritise their actions, and monitor their progress.

RISE can help schools respond to the changing expectations and demands of the curriculum, assessment, and inspection frameworks. It can help schools align their practice with the latest research evidence and best practices.

RISE can help schools enhance their professional learning culture and capacity. It can help schools develop a shared vision and language for research-informed practice, foster a culture of inquiry and reflection, and promote collaboration and innovation.

 If you are interested in using RISE to improve your school, you can find more information on the MESHGuides website³. You can also contact them at to join the dissemination project or to request more details. 

RISE is an open source tool that can help you transform your school into a more effective, efficient, and evidence-informed learning organisation. This is a great opportunity to join the RISE movement!

Further Reading

Research Informed School self Evaluation (RISE) – MESH. 

Introducing RISE: Research-Informed School self-Evaluation. .

MESH Guides.

 Top 10 Strategies for Improving Schools – ThoughtCo. .

 Putting Evidence to Work – A School’s Guide to Implementation.

Best Practices for School Improvement Planning – Featured.