Case studies

Charities and NGOs

Parliament has a very well established and popular CPD offering for teachers and lecturers, spread over three days and including workshops, talks, Q&A session with the speaker of the House of Commons, tours and lots more. However, nowadays schools find it increasingly difficult to allow teachers to take part in such extensive CPD, so Parliament asked us about how they might approach an online delivery: something we have a lot of experience in. We convened separate panels of primary and secondary teachers to find out about what forms might work for them, what times of day, how much content there should be and so on and made a series of recommendations for further investigation. An online survey of around 300 teachers and coordinators of relevant subjects, conducted via our online panel, quickly allowed us to gauge the appetite for various alternatives, the barriers to each and how they might be overcome. As usual in our research, we submitted a draft report, presented the findings and then submitted a final report reflecting the contributions made during the presentation.


Electrical Safety in Schools produce resources and give extensive advice to schools in teaching about electrical safety in schools. It had been a number of years since some of these resources had been developed when they asked Schoolzone to conduct an extensive review of their offerings. We organised two focus groups: one of headteachers, the other of classroom teachers, to review the materials and tell us how they would prefer them to be re-developed. We then conducted a survey to add scale to some of the findings and to get a clearer picture of the landscape for teaching this topic in schools. 500 teachers responded overnight to the survey and we analysed the data and examined how approaches varied by key stage, school demographic, region and so on.  A full written report was accompanied by a workshop presentation of the findings to help embed the learning and recommendations from the research within the client's education team. We then went on to commission some of our panel of teachers to re-write the resources, which were then edited by our in-house review team, before being published by the client.


British Red Cross are long-standing clients: they wanted to undertake a full review of their schools offering and used to take charge. We used a combination of focus groups, interviews, resource reviews and surveys with teachers and leaders in primary and secondary schools. Once the report was drafted, we ran a workshop with the relevant teams from BRC to help embed the recommendations. This led to a radically different approach to their schools offering, focusing less on curriculum and more on a thematic approach, reflecting a more whole-school offering which helped maximise engagement.


The Department for Education commissioned Schoolzone to be their official evaluation service for digital learning resources to support their Curriculum Online service for schools. We designed the evaluation framework and provided face-to-face training for 400 teachers around the UK in how to carry out the studies. We then recruited providers and placed the products for evaluation and coordinated and published the reports. Each evaluation consisted of the evaluator schools being given the digital learning resource to use with classes in school for a period of at least half a term and then writing an in-depth report. We conducted over 800 such evaluations as a result – the biggest study of its kind ever undertaken and demonstrated resources alongside their evaluations on an extensive DfE roadshow around England. These evaluations were used by schools across the country to inform spending over £320 million.


The Jamie Oliver Foundation has had a major impact on healthy eating via their school programme. As part of the study, Food Education Learning Landscape, we conducted a survey of around 1,000 teachers, which looked at the school meals and lunches brought in by children, combined with a series of follow-up interviews with school leaders which revealed a complex picture of motivations, barriers and sensitivities in this important aspect of school life. Our recommendations were extensively adopted and can be seen reflected widely in school healthy eating policies.


The Royal Society of Chemistry advises on government policy and promotes talent, information and ideas that lead to great advances in science. They commissioned Schoolzone to review their education brand and all teacher resources. The target audience for this research was secondary school chemistry teachers in the UK. Schoolzone conducted a multi-phase project, including online feedback forms, in-depth telephone interviews and a survey. The findings were then tested using a survey with a larger sample size. The benefits of adopting both quantitative and qualitative research methods were that we could obtain detailed feedback, whilst also gathering more factual data from a robust and nationally representative sample. All phases of the research were reported on and presented to the client, along with recommendations informed by the market knowledge of the Schoolzone team. As a result of this research the RSC set up a working party to action the changes that were recommended.