About SQTE

The FWF project ‘School Quality and Teacher Education’ (SQTE) conducts research on the historico-political, social and pedagogical factors of successful school quality development and school turnaround in England (1990-2020). Which policies and initiatives enabled school development? Which measures contributed to the compensation of social disadvantage in London and other regions of England, which received worldwide attention?

In order to find answers to these questions, headteachers of successful and highly effective schools in England were interviewed on their experiences with school quality development. What were the central levers to improve their schools? How did they suceed in raising the learning outcomes of pupils? How can we utilize their experiences for the practices of school development, teacher development and headteacher training in the Austrian context?

The project focuses particularly on schools in difficult circumstances that attain excellent learning outcomes despite a high proportion of pupils from disadvantaged home backgrounds; specifically, the research looks at schools in deprived areas of London that have improved considerably over the last 15 years in the context of the „London effect“. Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the project is based at the universities of Salzburg and Oxford.

On this website, we regularly inform about the project’s progress and insights. In this regard, a first interim report was published in March 2020, which you can find under the menu item Publications or here directly.


Here you can see the current video from the research project.

Funded by a generous grant from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

University of Salzburg

The project is based in the School of Education, University of Salzburg.

The project lead is Roland Bernhard. His principal collaborators at the University of Salzburg are Ulrike Greiner, head of the School of Education, and Burkhard Gniewosz, professor of educational sciences.

University of Oxford

The project is partially located at the University of Oxford’s Department of Education in the context of a Visiting Research Fellowship, for which the University of Oxford has generously provided an office and additional infrastructure in 2019 and 2020. Dr Bernhard’s principal collaborators in Oxford are Katharine Burn, Associate Professor in Education, and Pam Sammons, Professor of Education, who specialises in school effectiveness and improvement research. The project complies with the guidelines issued by the University of Oxford’s Central University Research Ethics Committee (CUREC), which has reviewed and approved it. The SQTE project is continuing and consolidating the existing collaboration between the School of Education, University of Salzburg, and the University of Oxford.


Sunday May 16th, 2021

Start of the Quantitative Main Study of the SQTE-project

Authors: Roland Bernhard, Christina Hasenhuettl       On the 3rd of May, we started the quantitative data collection in schools in England and thus entered […]
Wednesday April 7th, 2021
Genf Pixabay

Research paper accepted for the European Educational Research Association Conference ECER 2021 in Geneva (Switzerland) within the SQTE project

Roland Bernhard, Dominik Harnisch: “‘Why do you think your school is effective?’ School leaders’ strategies for improving quality in highly effective schools in disadvantaged contexts”.
Sunday February 14th, 2021

Paper accepted for the Conference of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction EARLI 2021 in Gothenburg (Sweden) within the SQTE project

Maria Tulis, Dominik Harnisch and Roland Bernhard: “Adaptive orientations towards failure and growth mindset in effective schools in difficult contexts”