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Home > Oracy Education Research > ESU Oracy Action Research Programme

A unique opportunity to engage in your own piece of oracy research

Oracy Action Research Programme

Key facts

  • Open to up to 20 state schools or colleges annually
  • 10 month programme supported by CPD and expert advice
  • Research tailored to your setting
  • Opportunity to share your findings nationally and internationally
  • Applications for 2023-24 are now open. Apply today
Four primary school pupils (all girls) standing inside a classroom, and one raised her hand in the air.

In brief

Our Action Research programme is a unique opportunity to engage in your own piece of oracy research.

This exciting programme, run in conjunction with academics at the University of Sussex, is designed to support schools to develop their in-house research capacity and contribute to collective understanding of ‘what works’ in oracy-based classroom practice.

It is an opportunity for your school to work with others across England and Wales, on a ten-month project, supported by CPD and expert advice. The project will culminate in a published report and conference and the sharing of research findings, ideas, and innovation not just in the UK, but internationally.

We work with up to 20 schools each year, providing bespoke support, guidance and CPD to ensure you are fully equipped to lead your own research project. You tailor your research to your interests and the requirements of your school – whether that is in English, linked to debating or public speaking, teacher CPD or student engagement. We help shape your research question, create your ethical approval and structure the format of your final report.

You will also have the opportunity to share your findings with the education community nationally and internationally at the ESU’s annual Oracy Research conference, as well as through publications online and in print.

Research findings from our inaugural year of Action Research will be shared here in November 2023, as well as at our Oracy Research conference.


The programme is funded by the ESU. CPD, project group meetings, report production and conference costs will be funded.

Participating schools commit to release colleagues for attendance and to meet the cost of travel to/from London for the in-person events. We also request a £30 contribution from successful schools to help cover some of the costs of the CPD day.

Should your school be unable to meet travel or contribution costs please contact us, as we may be able to offer support with some of these costs.

children cheering school oracy workshops


Applications are now open!

Apply by the 27 October via our online form. Successful schools will be notified by the 10 November, with initial reading and research preparation commencing before the Christmas holidays. A CPD session will take place in January.

Download the Notes for Applicants from the box on the right for more information.


If you have any questions about the Action Research Programme, please email or call 020 7529 1565

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