The Evidence Institute builds on previous work in educational research and data analysis undertaken by The Association of Independent Schools of NSW.

The Institute has been established at a time when significant change and disruption are impacting a wide range of industries, including education. It recognises the importance of exploring the ways society understands the place of schools, teachers, and the role they play in shaping future generations. The Institute maintains a central focus on building evidence in support of independent school students, families, teachers and educational leaders, and consider areas impacting education in the future.

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What we offer

The Evidence Institute undertakes a range of activities to support the work of AISNSW member schools, inform and lead conversations within the broader education community, and connect to the work of other industries.

  • Undertake and commission research – independently and through partnerships for mutual benefit and the betterment of education
  • Enable research in schools – through support for educators undertaking school based research
  • Support school and sector insights – through rigorous collection and analysis of data
  • Build research skills and communities – through research focused professional learning opportunities, fostering collaboration and networking

Undertake and commission research

The Evidence Institute undertakes and supports a range of research, independently, and through partnerships for mutual benefit, and the betterment of education. Commissioned research is undertaken with independent schools and organisations including universities, government and industry.

The Institute is committed to sharing the highest quality evidence from local, national and international research to help inform practice within the independent sector and beyond. Information is shared in a variety of ways to engage and support a wide range of stakeholders including teachers, school leaders, educational researchers, government and those across intersecting industries.

Strategic themes are identified through consultation with stakeholders and by monitoring the educational horizon. The Institute understands the evolving and diverse needs of the independent sector and seeks to support schools with evidence relevant to their diverse contexts.

Enable research in schools

Grounding education in evidence informed practice is an essential feature of assuring and enhancing educational excellence. Initiatives are informed by a variety of frameworks and research methodologies including Spiral of Inquiry, Action Research and Design Thinking. The Evidence Institute provides opportunities for independent schools to undertake, access and utilise educational research.

School Based Research Projects

Each year member schools in NSW are invited to apply for funding and support to conduct a two year School Based Research Project. Successful projects are awarded in areas of education which ultimately impact student outcomes and make substantial contributions to new insights in and beyond individual schools. These Projects aim to build research capacity and cultures of research engagement in practicing teachers and/or school leaders in the independent sector.

Action Research for Individualised Professional Learning

This professional learning opportunity aims to support sustainable change in educator practice. The blended learning approach taken balances specific research skill development with individualised support for implementation within the unique context of each school. Regular touchpoints enable collegial discussions and support the ongoing embedding of constructive feedback to improve professional knowledge and practice.


Research to Practice

Research to Practice is designed to bridge the gap between research findings and what is happening in the classroom to optimise learning outcomes for students. It brings together an internationally recognised framework, the Spiral of Inquiry, with expert consultant support to create a powerful professional learning opportunity for educators.



Support school and sector insights

Complex global and technological trends continue to impact the educational landscape. The Evidence Institute supports the collection and use of high quality evidence to empower schools as they navigate significant change.

The Institute offers a variety of services to support schools in their collection, analysis, interpretation and use of internal and external data for continuous school improvement. This includes:

The evidence based knowledge and insights gained through the activities of the Institute are designed to assist leaders in school planning, and classroom teachers to identify with precision their students’ strengths and opportunities. Support provided by the Institute will ultimately guide schools in improving student performance and pedagogical delivery.

Perspectives: Your school in focus

Perspectives: Your school in focus is a whole school survey which enables schools to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement across a broad range of domains including School Environment, Teaching and Learning, Student Wellbeing, Leadership and Community.
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Build research skills and communities

Connecting and engaging with similar or diverse perspectives can enhance thinking and provide new insights about information and areas of new knowledge. The Evidence Institute recognises the importance of developing research communities to support school leaders and teachers in their research. The Institute provides formal and informal opportunities to build these communities, support sustained engagement and bridge the research to practice gap.

The Evidence Institute offers a range of research-focused professional learning opportunities to support the development of research skills. These include face-to-face, online and blended programs and are designed to complement the suite of offerings provided by AISNSW. It also provides opportunities to showcase research conducted in independent school contexts, focusing on improving student, teacher and school outcomes. Together these help to create momentum to empower teachers and school leaders, both informing their practice and supporting sustainable change.

Online courses available include:

 A new blended learning opportunity is also available from 2020 focusing on the use of Action Research for Individualised Professional Learning:

Education Research Council

The AIS Education Research Council plays an important role in shaping the direction of The Evidence Institute. Established in 2014, the Council is made up of Heads from a variety of NSW independent schools, and has a mandate to investigate and support the research needs of independent schools in NSW.
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Meet The Evidence Institute Team

The Evidence Institute is staffed by a team of researchers and educators with a broad range of experience and expertise. They are committed to bridging the research to practice gap in the independent sector.
Meet the team