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New Study shows remarkable results for Pupils from Thinking Schools

New research undertaken by the University of Exeter shows the Thinking School approach impacts greatly on the progress of pupils in both primary and secondary schools in England as measured by P8, reading progress, writing progress and mathematics progress.


The evaluative research covers a 3 year study (2016 – 2018) carried out on English state primary and secondary Thinking Schools.

Key Findings of Research:

  • Thinking School pupils make an average, additional 10 months of progress against national norms. This translates to an increased grade in SATS for primary aged pupils and MORE than a GCSE grade for secondary pupils.
  • The progress of Disadvantaged pupils in Thinking Schools regularly exceeds the progress of National Non-Disadvantaged pupils
  • A clear picture of significant growth in terms of impact emerges as registered Thinking Schools move towards becoming accredited Thinking Schools.

Thinking Schools obtain accreditation from the University of Exeter after establishing a whole school approach to the development of independent thinkers and learners. The approach typically takes three years to embed. Schools are supported in their journey to becoming Thinking Schools by consultancy Thinking Matters.

The research process follows the author’s preferred style of action-research based on a form of illuminative evaluation and an adaptation/application of the SPARE ‘wheel’ model.  Specific case studies are also used to support the findings.

See the Abstract and full Evaluation Report here