The need for a more strategic approach to the accumulation and use of educational research was argued for by David Hargreaves, then adviser to government ministers on education, in his famous 1996 TDA lecture*. This fitted well with the EPPI-Centre's approach to user led systematic reviews concerned with all questions and types of research evidence.
In 2000 the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) funded the EPPI-Centre to be a Centre for Evidence Informed Policy & Practice in Education. The centre provides training in SRS methods for education, develops tools and materials to support those undertaking reviews in education and been instrumental in creating the beginnings of a culture of acceptance of and participation in SRS amongst the various education research communities. Under the DCSF programme the centre has supported 23 Review Groups who have produced approximately 40 reviews on education topics.
In a programme of work funded by the TDA the Centre has also supported 10 Review Groups to produce approximately 16 systematic reviews on topics related to teacher education and training.
The Centre has also been working on a collaborative development programme to produce new improved processes and procedures and tools for commissioning, managing, conducting and reporting systematic reviews in education.
* reproduced with permission of the author