The Effective Use of Evidence by Early Career Teachers in Rural Settings

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


he present document constitutes an interim report on findings part way through a process of enquiring into the best ways the University of the Highlands and Islands can support early career teachers in rural settings to use evidence effectively in their practice for the purpose of closing the poverty-induced attainment gap and raising attainment in Literacy, Numeracy and Health and Wellbeing.

The COVID-19 outbreak has had an impact on this study in terms of directing the discourse, as understandings of social and economic deprivation are now seen through this lens and the material conditions in which learning and life are taking place have altered significantly and will have had an impact on attainment-related issues.

The first two phases of this study have revealed how productive it has been to provide a safe place for reflecting on the nature of learning in these rural communities and also to build shared experiences of an iterative nature that can inform projective ambitions as to what outcomes for the learners can be. We have built a community of practice that shares its achievements and reflects on the things that have not gone according to plan to make the experience for learners, and these early career teachers themselves, better. A space for dialogue has given these educators a forum for reflecting on the evidence in front of them and also time away from everything else in a shared space with people with other experiences and suggestions to share, which facilitates the next steps in teaching and learning.

Experiences of rurality are not all one of a kind, however the significance of community in whatever shapes or forms this takes is significant across all of these settings, including the community that we have created.

In the final phase of the project, the prior year’s participants are invited to come back as mentors to the new cohort of NQTs, so that there is an additional layer of experience to assist those entering the profession at this challenging but interesting time.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of the Highlands and Islands
Commissioning bodyThe Scottish Government
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Attainment Challenge


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