What works: The science of education

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Monday 13 May

The Theatre

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Francis Bourgouin via Flickr


Standard £16


Concession £10


Ri Members and Ri Patrons £7

Event description

A lot of what we think we know about education doesn’t always stack up when we look at the evidence. For example, the impact of teaching assistants in the classroom is minimal (unless school leaders train and support their staff properly). Or another example: school uniform policy has little or no impact on pupils’ attainment (unless it’s part of a wider school improvement programme). Find out more about ‘what works’ to improve teaching and learning with contributions from three experts – education professor Steve Higgins, headteacher Lesley Powell, and evidence champion Sir Kevan Collins – and probing questions from journalist Chris Cook.


About the speakers

Steve Higgins specialises in the use of research evidence to support effective spending in schools. He is an advocate of the effective use of research and evidence-based policy and practice, he frequently presents keynote speeches to policymakers and practitioners.

Lesley Powell is Executive Principal at The Academy at Shotton Hall, CEO of the North East Learning Trust and an NLE. Prior to this, she was deputy headteacher. Her track record of leadership within both positions is acknowledged locally and nationally as truly outstanding.

Sir Kevan Collins is the Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), having previously been Chief Executive in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The EEF is a grant-making education charity dedicated to challenging educational disadvantage. The EEF has established over 150 education studies involving 1:3 schools in England and over 955,000 children. The work has gained an international reputation and the EEF supports work in Australia, Latin America and Europe.

Your chair for the evening is journalist Chris Cook.


The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm.

Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.


The theatre is on the first floor and there is step-free access from the street via lift.

The closest underground station is Green Park, which is step-free.

There is space at floor level in the theatre for wheelchair users.

Seating is usually unreserved for our events. If you and your group require seating reservations, please do let us know by email and we’ll be more than happy to help. Email: events@ri.ac.uk.

Carers can receive a free ticket to an event by emailing events@ri.ac.uk.

Our theatre is equipped with an Audio Induction Loop. 

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