Two West Cumbrian schools have won funding to boost the quality of teaching in the region.

Cockermouth School and West Lakes Academy will work together to form a new Cumbria Associate Research School, as part of the Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) network of 32 research schools and eight associate research schools across England.

Funding from EEF and the WELL Project will be used to support disadvantaged pupils and vulnerable learners and to improve pupils' outcomes.

They will also offer other programmes based on the EEF’s guidance reports on core school topics like literacy, maths and behaviour, which will be delivered in partnership with other research schools in the EEF’s network.

Cumbria Associate Research School will be holding a formal launch later in the month.

Dr Rob Petrie, headteacher of Cockermouth School was delighted to have gained the status of associate research school. He said: "It is a clear recognition of our school’s commitment to using evidence-informed ideas to support the education of the young people in our area. We look forward to working with the Education Endowment Foundation, the research school network and our close colleagues at West Lakes Academy to make Cumbria into a hub of educational research.”

Jonathan Johnson, CEO of West Lakes Trust, said: “The accolade of associate research school is a reflection of our long-standing collective commitment over many years to finding and using what works in classrooms to deliver outstanding outcomes for children in West Cumbria. We are proud to work in equal partnership with Cockermouth School alongside the Education Endowment Foundation, and the wider research school network to further enhance our area’s reputation for cutting edge practice.”

Professor Becky Francis, CEO of the EEF, said: “We’re at an important moment in the potential of evidence to improve teaching and learning in England’s schools, particularly for our most disadvantaged young people. Not only is this country now a world-leader in producing high-quality evidence, but there is also a large and growing appetite among teachers and senior leaders to use this research to underpin their school’s improvement.

“The new associate research school in Cumbria will engage with schools, local authorities, multi-academy trusts, and other practitioners to improve teaching and learning in their region and provide great educational opportunities for the most disadvantaged learners. They’ll develop practical tools, training courses, professional development and coaching, all based on the best available evidence. I’m delighted to welcome them into our network, and look forward to working with them.”