How does research influence educational policy? Insights from Oxford researchers with successful policy engagement and impact in the UK

Join us for a virtual panel discussion focusing on the interplay between research and education policy. In this event researchers at different career stages and policymakers will showcase examples of research projects that have successfully informed and influenced education policy in the UK.

Our invited speakers will discuss:
· Why and how educational researchers can engage with policy
· Examples of successful collaborations between educational researchers and policy makers
· How can both parties ensure that these collaborations operate effectively?
· What are the benefits and drawbacks for researchers and policymakers, of working together?

Panellists include:

· Kathy Sylva, Honorary Research Fellow (Department of Education). Kathy carries out research studies on early childhood education, and has particular expertise in the effects of early education and care on children’s longitudinal development. She has been Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee on Education and Advisor to the House of Lords on ‘Affordable Childcare’. She is currently a member of Ofsted’s Pedagogy Forum advising on the national inspection framework.

· Ian Thompson, Associate Professor of English Education and Director of the PGCE course (Department of Education). Ian is currently co-PI on the £2.55 million ESRC funded project Excluded Lives: The Political Economies of School Exclusion and their Consequences.

· Arlene Holmes-Henderson, Senior Research Fellow in Classics Education (Faculty of Classics). Arlene holds a Research and Public Policy Partnership with the Curriculum Policy team (Humanities and Languages) at the Department for Education where she provides specialist advice on ancient and modern languages education. She is a TORCH Knowledge Exchange Fellow and one of the University’s Policy Leaders. Arlene is an expert academic advisor to two All-Party Parliamentary Groups.

· Naomi Eisenstadt, Honorary Research Fellow (Department of Education). Naomi has served as the director of the Social Exclusion Task Force at the Cabinet Office and was the first Director of Sure Start. She currently is the Chair of the Northamptonshire Integrated Care System (ICS) and also undertakes a variety of board roles for voluntary and public sectors, such as advisor on poverty, inequality and children’s services.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Olga Ioannidou, Postdoctoral Research Officer (Department of Education).

Please register by emailing

This activity arises from activities funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund through the Oxford Policy Engagement Network (OPEN) Leaders Scheme.