Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
The University of Bristol has developed a new method (or intervention) of teacher peer review, a system where teachers observe and critique each others skills in the classroom. It uses software called RANDA, which can be installed on a IPad tablet and it allows teachers to peer review each other using any number of customised scoring systems. The aims behind the development of this software are to improve teachers performance in the classroom and improve pupils educational attainments. This study seeks to test this new teacher peer observation intervention through a large number of teacher peer reviews in the English and mathematics departments of 120 schools over the course of two years.
Who can participate?
This project is for teachers teaching mathematics or English in GCSE classes.
What does the study involve?
Schools will be randomly selected to either be in the intervention group who take part in the new peer review intervention or the control group who continue as normal. Teachers in intervention schools will be randomly allocated to either be an observer, to be observed or to do both. Teachers carrying out observations will use an IPad (which the University of Bristol will supply) and work through a rubric (a framework on which the observations will be based which is loaded onto the IPad as an app). The observation should take about 15-20 minutes. Within each school, the mathematics and English departments will be randomly allocated to a low dose or high dose of the teacher peer review process. In low dose departments, each teacher being observed will be peer reviewed 6-9 times over a cause of a year. In high dose departments, this increases to 15-18 times a year. Students English and mathematics abilities will also be tested at the end of each school year for two years. This will be using an adapted Key Stage 3 test in year 10 and GCSE exams in year 11.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The programme may improve students abilities in mathematics and English.
Where is the study run from?
The study is being run by National Foundation for Educational Research, Slough, UK.
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
September 2014 to July 2016.
Who is funding the study?
Education Endowment Foundation (UK)
Who is the main contact?
Dr Anneka Dawson
+ 44 (0) 1753 637218
Evaluation of the teacher peer observation intervention: Cluster randomised controlled trial
The use of the teacher peer observation intervention designed by the University of Bristol will increase Year 10 and Year 11 students' abilities in mathematics and English
National Foundation for Educational Research Code of Practice Committee, 06/05/14
Cluster randomised trial
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised controlled trial
Quality of life
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet
There are three levels of randomisation:
1. Schools are randomised to either intervention (55 schools) or control (65 schools continuing as normal) conditions
2. Mathematics and English departments within the intervention schools are randomised to either high dose (15-18 times a year) or low dose (6-9 times a year) of the peer observation (every school will have one low and one high observation category)
3. Teachers within the intervention schools are randomised to either be an observer, an observee or both (a third in each condition)
Primary outcome measure
GCSE outcomes for English and mathematics will be used to measure year 11 ability.
Secondary outcome measures
Adapted Key Stage 3 tests in English and mathematics will be used to measure year 10 ability.
Analysis of the differential impact of the interventions on free school meal (FSM) and non-FSM pupils, and gender will also be carried out.
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. State secondary schools in England that are mixed with no boarders
2. Schools who have the top half of students eligible for free school meals (the highest percentages of FSM)
3. Students will be in year 10 and year 11
4. Schools will need to provide a list of UPNs, class lists and teacher IDs to avoid control schools resisting the data requirements after allocation
5. Headteachers will be asked to give consent on behalf of the teachers and students
Target number of participants
Participant exclusion criteria
Schools in Somerset, Lancashire and Merseyside as requested by the funder
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
The Education Endowment Foundation (UK)
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Not provided at time of registration
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Not provided at time of registration
Basic results (scientific)