Research and Development

EQuis never stop researching and developing products, services and pedagogical approaches aimed for use in schools. Can you help?


We’re always looking for students, teachers and schools to work with us to test ideas and offerings, then establish good ways of implementing them. Most of the projects are based around systems, services and training programmes that EQuis have identified as being transformational, but we also test and develop other offerings – in the field of assistive educational technology for example.

See below the description and benefits of the different projects we need help with at the moment. Please use the form at the bottom of the page to register your interest and get more information

Project 1: Testing the practicality and effectiveness of ‘Supported Role-Play’ as a method of developing understanding and verbal scripts for managing difficult behaviour.

We need interested teachers to take part in Zoom enabled ‘Supported Role-Play’ sessions enacting semi-scripted scenarios that we will record for general distribution as a training resource for schools. The scenarios represent what we might typically observe in mainstream classrooms.

The aim of the training is to improve understanding of what motivates children and young people in the context of learning behaviours, and develop the knowledge and skills needed to manage them. The setting is always a meeting in one form or another, with a student who exhibits particular types of difficult behaviour (the logic here is that it will pretty much always be necessary to meet with the student – and sometimes the parent/carer – at some point in order to find and agree a solution to the issue).

We would expect to create a number of recordings of 12 participants experiencing various meeting scenarios that we will add to the Behaviour with Bayley series of workshop resources:

We will find dates and times that suit you and adjust scenario terms – such as the age of the child character – according to attendees’ interests.

These are the initial* set of scenarios.

Episode No.
Primary 1Meet the Persistent Disrupter
Primary 2Meet the Attention Seeker
Primary 3Meet the Child who has Relationship Problems
Primary 4Meet the Child who Wants too Much of You
Primary 5Meet the Angry Child
Primary 6Meet the Parents of the Persistent Disrupter
Secondary 1Meet the Persistent Disrupter
Secondary 2Meet the Attention Seeker
Secondary 3Meet the Angry Teen
Secondary 4Meet the Aggressive Teen
Secondary 5Meet the Withdrawn Teen
Secondary 6Meet the Parents of the Truant

*initial because we intend to explore more situations where additional skills are needed. There are, of course, potentially hundreds of scenarios.

So 12 in all, each probably requiring 45 minutes of ‘Supported Role-Play’ and preparation (click here to watch a short example explainer of what this is and why teachers are more likely to use this, as opposed to normal role-play, as a training methodology). It’s a lot of fun and hugely effective and valuable in terms of skills development. There’s a small ‘thank you’ budget for participants plus they will have free access to the finished online training programmes to share with their respective schools’ colleagues.

We’ll gather data and structured feedback at three points i) immediately after the session, ii) 4 weeks after it and, iii) 5 – 6 months later.

Project 2: Trialling time-saving coaching approaches and exploring other effective ways to introduce or develop a self-sustaining coaching culture in schools.

We will be using the principles underpinning John Beighton’s Programmes: ‘Coaching for Learning and Progress’ and ‘Student Partners in Learning and Progress’. The programme itself is aimed at enabling The Self-Improving school

John Beighton, previously a lead consultant for the ‘London Challenge’ programme in ‘Keys to Success Schools’, and currently Executive HT at Islington Futures Academies, has been working with us to develop these two online courses that have encapsulated John’s coaching principles, solutions and methods, developed and used successfully in 90+ schools. We aim to create 20 lead school partners to help us to quality assure and certify coaches in their region.

John’s approaches are proven to support schools who are planning to embark (or already have embarked) on initiatives to develop teachers as coaches in line with EEF’s 14 mechanisms and ECF/DfE guidance. You can find podcasts, videos and webinar recordings that tell you more here Coaching for Learning and Progress – Equis In Education.

There are no financial commitments or costs involved. We just need enthusiastic senior or middle leaders with a willingness to understand and develop the approach in some depth, and potentially contribute, or help us adapt, training content for different schools. There is obviously going to be a need to allocate some time to the project in your school. We are aware of the challenges to time availability here but have a number of methods and strategies that mitigate disruptive consequences and integrate development within normal timetables and curriculum commitments.

At this point we are looking for expressions of interest from schools of all types and sizes, who are working at different stages of development. We would expect a number of ‘Coaching Leaders’ and ‘Lead Schools’ to emerge from this process to help us support schools regionally. We believe that by establishing a collaborating group of Lead Schools and empowering them to provide expert support to colleagues regionally we can achieve the most cost-effective outcome and ensure quality and impact. It is envisaged that communities of participating schools will be able to access the guidance,

resources and materials they need through a nominal online subscription at an appropriate point in time to ensure ROI and sustainability.

We’ll gather data and structured feedback at three points i) immediately after each phase, ii) 4 weeks after the first cycle and, iii) 5 – 6 months later.

Project 3: ‘The Online Professional Discussion’

How we feed back as coaches and what we say is key. Done well it is inspiring and fulfilling. Done badly it is de-motivating and demoralising. Using video-enabled CPD, prompts and carefully worded questions we can structure prompts and carefully worded questions we can structure feedback so that it is non-judgemental, non-personal and non-inspectorial, plus we can monitor improvement more easily in a non-time consuming way. We need teachers to take part in observation and feedback scenarios generated by a semi-imagined classroom observation schedule. No acting skills necessary!

By the end of it we will have audio recordings that we can use in our training resource bank, and you can use in yours. We’ll collect data and feedback during, after and 5 or 6 weeks after the initial project.

Cost Implications

We do not expect partner schools to pay anything for helping us to get good data, ideas and feedback – indeed we will pay you (not a lot I’m afraid)! We do anticipate though that schools will see clear ongoing benefits and improvements in time, at which point we may ask for a nominal subscription that will help us fund further research and development.

There will be a webinar for each project (We’ll negotiate workable dates). Every attendee will receive a £10 voucher and there’s another £15 voucher if an individual or school leader takes part in a recorded session.

Complete the form or send us an email to express your interest in one or more of the above projects:

Which projects are you interested in (You can choose all three if you wish

4 + 13 =

Q & A

Q. How much time does the coaching programme require?

A. The 7 sessions – or ‘Aspects’ – are 20 to 45 minutes. Most of the learning happens in the classroom and that feeds into the next ’Aspect’. The whole programme can be run over a half a term, a whole term, two terms or for as long as you need. Once the early principles are embedded it just becomes part of the fabric of the school week.

Q. Who runs the progs in school?

A. The online resources include guidance for an in-house facilitator, so the school can appoint a ‘Lead Coach’. EQuis staff are on hand to help. We can manage everything for you if you prefer – this process would identify Coach Leaders who can take your programme forward when ready.

Q. Can we access the resources without getting involved in the projects?

A. Yes of course. We’ll ask you for a nominal subscription.

Q. Can I just sign up for one role-play session?

A. Yes – and you can choose which one. You can elect to take part one at a time if you wish.

Q. Do I still get the £15 voucher if the recording isn’t published?

A. Yes

Q. What will you do with the feedback and data?

A. If it is part of a specific research paper then it may be published as such. Generally the feedback is rich with anecdotal information that provides a pattern of data that we can publish ourselves in blogs and articles etc… Some great practical ideas also emerge – we build these into the programmes and platform system as updates.

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