Unity Research School

What is Unity Research School?

Unity Research School is made up of a team of experienced educationalists, passionate about education research and the evidence-informed strategies it provides. They are part of the larger Research Schools Network and are supported by the practices of the EEF.

Having Unity Research School as part of Unity Schools Partnership means that Unity’s schools have instant access to evidence-based information which they can use in the classroom to improve outcomes for pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.


In an age of over-whelming amounts of pseudo-evidence, Unity Research School provides a solid and trustworthy source of information, proven to work in school settings and can help each school apply the evidence so that it is relevant to their setting and pupils’ needs.

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We are committed to championing great teaching at every opportunity and supporting the growth of evidence-informed practice in our region.

Andy Samways – Director of Unity Research School


Eileen Allpress

Research Director at Ipswich Research School and Project Manager at West Ipswich Teaching School Alliance

I have been part of the teaching profession  for  over twenty four years, with my  last position being that of Principal of two schools in Ipswich. My career and experience is within the Primary range with a focus on Early Years.  I have  had a long engagement with research during my career and wide experience of using research to improve personal practice and in leading research throughout the school.

I have supported staff to engage with research and support them with a range of qualifications, including MA and NPQH level qualifications. I have  also worked with SCITT as an assessor for more than ten years. I am now the Project Manager for the West Ipswich Teaching School and Research Director for Ipswich Associate Research School. I am based at Highfield Nursery School in Ipswich.

These roles have enabled me to support practitioners engage with evidence based research. I support practitioners to carry out research and deliver CPD to practitioners across the sector. I work closely with Ipswich Opportunity Area to identify opportunities to increase the knowledge and skills of practitioners when engaging with research. At present I am working with a group of Evidence Leads in Education within the Opportunity Area, to train them to further support practitioners in effective engagement in research to improve practice. I was also part of the EYFS DFE funded project to support the EY Sector prepare for the upcoming changes to the EY framework.