Last Updated: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

National Action Enquiry Programme for Educational Psychologists

What is this?

​​The National Action Enquiry Programme aims to develop the Scottish research base supporting educational practitioners to achieve better outcomes for children and young people, especially those who are most vulnerable.

Who is this for?

This will be of particular interest to those involved in the Scottish Attainment Challenge and those interested in closing the poverty related attainment gap.

Improvement questions

Educational psychologists have developed research questions based around the different foci provided each year. Some of the research questions asked across the programmes have been:

  • Impact of COVID-19 and creative learning and teaching solutions?
  • Impact of interrupted learning, particularly for vulnerable groups?
  • How could a more robust tracking and monitoring systems for wellbeing begin to address the attainment gap?
  • Is Glasgow Counts effective in closing the poverty-related attainment gap?
  • According to National 5 Maths pupils, what are the key factors affecting their numeracy and mathematics skill development in school?
  • Can a valid, reliable and robust scale be developed to measure wellbeing in families in Scotland?
  • Following attending nurture principles training, will there be evidence of the implementation of nurture principles in the classroom e.g. awareness of body language, modelling of positive relationships?

Link(s)

About this research

Background

Since 2016, educational psychologists from Scotland have been participating in the National Action Enquiry Programmes for Educational Psychologists. Since 2016 there have been three cohorts and all have had Scottish Attainment Challenge and National Improvement Framework priorities as their focus. The third cohort also included the impact of COVID-19 as a research theme.

Why was this done?

Since 2016, the profession has been supported by Education Scotland as part of the Scottish Attainment Challenge and in partnership with the Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists (ASPEP) and the British Psychological Society (BPS): Scottish Division of Educational Psychology (SDEP) to carry out research which will help to inform priorities for Scottish education:

  • Cohort 1 (2016-17) focus: Health and Wellbeing and Numeracy
  • Cohort 2 (2018-19) focus: Closing the poverty-related attainment gap and or achieving excellence and equity for all related to numeracy, literacy, health and wellbeing
  • Cohort 3 (2020-22) focus: the impact of COVID-19 on learners, staff and families and interventions/ supports to mitigate impact

Cohorts 1 and 2: Educational psychologists from across Scotland attended 2-day symposiums to launch each Action Enquiry programme in 2016 and 2018. These days were used to introduce the focus of each year and allow services to share and shape their research ideas. Over the year, the educational psychologists carried out their research within and at times, across local authorities. They met again halfway through the programme to again share their research and be part of a supportive network asking challenging questions of each other. This culminated in a research paper published on the National Improvement Hub as well as within journals and on local websites.

Cohort 3: This evolved following feedback and consultation with the profession and stakeholders and due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. There are a number of ways which educational psychologists and their services have become involved including:

  • Rapid research reviews being released online from November 2021 – March 2022

Summarised literature reviews which are accessible to all educational practitioners and which will improve the research base they can use to inform their practice.

  • National conference, 25th March 2022: From poverty to flourishing, where participants can present their research and resources.
  • In-depth research and development being released online from August 2022 onwards

Design and implementation of interventions and/ or research which explore some of the gaps identified in a Scottish context and can be used to inform practice to improve outcomes for children and young people.

Please note that the research findings from each paper are representative of the findings and research from author/s and/ or local authorities.

What was done?

Since 2016, the profession has been supported by Education Scotland as part of the Scottish Attainment Challenge and in partnership with the Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists (ASPEP) and the British Psychological Society (BPS): Scottish Division of Educational Psychology (SDEP) to carry out research which will help to inform priorities for Scottish education:

Year 1 (2016-17) focus: Health and Wellbeing and Numeracy

Year 2 focus (2018-19): Closing the poverty-related attainment gap and or achieving excellence and equity for all related to numeracy, literacy, health and wellbeing

Educational psychologists from across Scotland have attended 2-day symposiums to launch each Action Enquiry programme in 2016 and 2018. These days have been used to introduce the focus of each year and allow services to share and shape their research ideas.

Over the year, the educational psychologists carry out their research within and at times, across local authorities. They meet again halfway through the programme to again share their research and be part of a supportive network asking challenging questions of each other. This culminates in a research paper published on the National Improvement Hub as well as within journals and on local websites.

Please note that the research findings from each paper are representative of the findings and research from author/s and/ or local authorities.

What was the impact?

Each year, the Scottish evidence base is added to through research undertaken in Scotland. This programme ensures research which is completed in Scottish schools by Scottish educational psychologists in partnership with Scottish teachers, children, young people and parents is a vital part of the evidence based being used to inform local authority and national priorities. Since 2016-2019, 40 research papers have been carried out and published.

This research tends not to end with the publication of the research and continues to be developed by the educational psychologists within their own services. Therefore more detailed information on the research tends to be available on each educational psychological services website or available on request from the authors.