Research and Consultancy

Our partners understand that The MTPT Project community is made up of experts in different fields.  This page features short term research topics and consultancy opportunities from a range of organisations that might provide you with a stimulating project whilst on parental leave, and a future partnership when you return to work.

Use the contact details to contact our partners directly, and remember to tell them that you are a member of The MTPT Project community!

Partner: The Talent Keeper Specialists

The Talent Keeper Specialists are on a mission to bring people back to work raring to go after a break. They work across many sectors and with employees taking extended leave for many different reason.  Founder, Jessica Chivers is author of the book ‘Mothers Work!  How to Get a Grip on Guilt and Make a Smooth Return to Work’ and is particularly interested in the extended leave represented by maternity leave.

The Talent Keepers are working on an exciting new solution called Comeback Community™ that brings together a host of resources designed to fuel engagement between employee and workplace/line manager, build confidence and boost performance after a break. They are looking for women and men to contribute their top tips on a range of themes.

Contact Jessica Chivers:


Top Tips on Returning to Work

Contribute an audio recording, film footage or written tip on one of the following areas:

  • Renegotiating your role if you didn’t want or it wasn’t practical/possible to come back to exactly the same job as before leave
  • What you covered in any Keep In Touch conversations you had with work – when you had them, why, how often, benefits
  • Going for promotion when on leave
  • Top tips for a good first day back at work
  • How to have a smooth handback (from your covering colleague(s))
  • Creating a good dynamic with the person/people who were covering for you, if they’re staying on
  • Personal brand – repositioning yourself in peoples’ minds, or presenting yourself in a different light when you returned to work The emotions you felt when coming back to work, how long they lasted, how they changed over time and what you did to ‘manage’ or enjoy them

Time Commitment: Minimal – the time it takes you to record/ write your top tips.

Partner: Dauntless Daughters

Dauntless Daughters “creates images and stories showing all sorts of women and girls, doing all sorts of bold and amazing things.  From women in STEM, explorers, engineers to skater girls and kickboxers.  The world for our girls and young women has become a one dimensional representation of womanhood, an empty collection of teapots and passive dolls.  If we want our children to embrace STEM careers then we must show them that we believe they can (and should) be involved in those STEM fields.” – Stephanie Green, Dauntless Daughters

Contact Stephanie Green:; @Dauntless_STEM


What is the impact of visibility and role models on Primary aged children? (under 12s)

Summaries of research articles or original research welcome.

Aim: to add weight to the need for visual representations of a wide range of career and identity options for girls targeted at this age range.

Time Commitment: Flexible

Book Review

Abbie Bold Goes to Mars

Aim: to understand how this book could be used as a classroom resource and develop lesson plans and activities around the key messages and values of the story.

Time Commitment: Flexible, 30 minutes+

Fact Hunting

Where does empowerment fit into the National Curriculum? (EYFS, KS1 and KS2)

Ideas and information on the gaps in resourcing and creative lesson activities from EYFS practitioners and Primary teachers welcome.

Current resources being developed include:

  • Colour sheets for EYFS
  • ABC book for EYFS
  • Phonics reading book and resources for KS1
  • Science book for KS2

Aim: to ensure that Dauntless Daughters resources and lesson plans in development are appropriately tailored to the demands of the national curriculum.

Time Commitment: Flexible, 30 minutes+

Qualitative Research Participant

How can we adapt our CPD offer to suit the needs of classroom teachers and schools?

Dauntless Daughters are planning to deliver CPD workshops focusing on the company’s values and the messages they intend to convey through their illustrations.  These workshops would focus on language and the visual landscape and gender parity in primary schools.

Aim: to understand more about INSET needs and  support in designing a manifesto for the training sessions.

Time Commitment: Flexible, 10 minutes+


Supporting the development of The MTPT Project

The experience of teachers on parental leave and how this is linked to teacher retention, recruitment, gender equality in educational leadership and the gender pay gap is a data void.  At The MTPT Project, we would like to explore these issues further to help make education an equal, inclusive and sustainable career choice.

Contact us!

Primary Data Survey

What percentage of the teacher workforce are on parental leave?

A five minute survey that can be completed by individuals here.

OR calling HR Managers or School Leaders to request this information to collect more survey responses.

Aim: to gather the first set of primary data about this section of the teacher workforce.

Time Commitment: Flexible, 5 minutes – 1 hour per day

Qualitative Research

To what extent does the ‘motherhood penalty’ impact the disparity of women in educational leadership?

A qualitative research project sourcing and interviewing teachers who have returned to the classroom after becoming parents and the perceived and actual influence of their new status as mothers on their career progression.

Aim: to understand how to empower more female teachers into leadership positions, and how to support teachers before, during and after maternity leave in order to enable their career aspirations.

Time Commitment: Flexible, 2-3 months

Qualitative Research

To what extent are teachers, specifically mothers, leaving the education system after becoming mothers?

A qualitative research project sourcing teachers who have left the education system after becoming parents and interviewing them about their reasons for doing so.

Aim: to understand whether schools/ the DfE could have implemented measures to keep these teachers in the education system.  To understand the continuing contribution to the education system made by teachers no longer in the classroom.

Time Commitment: Flexible, 2-3 months

Qualitative Research

What is the impact of parental leave CPD on student outcomes?

A qualitative research project interviewing members of The MTPT Project who have returned to the classroom having completed some form of CPD whilst on parental leave.  Interviewing research participants, collating and analysing results.

Aim: to understand more about the value of CPD completed away from the classroom, and the impact on teachers’ – specifically mothers’ – career progression.

Time Commitment: Flexible, 2-3 months


Partner: Strawberry Hill House

Located in Strawberry Hill, Richmond, Strawberry Hill House is an architectural marvel accredited as the birthplace of The Gothic.  Built by Horace Walpole, author of ‘The Castle of Otranto’ in the 18th century, the house is now a museum dedicated to exploring all things Gothic.  As well as being open to the public, the house acts as an education centre for students and teachers, and is keen to partner with English teachers, Initial Teacher Trainer or CPD Leads, or teachers interested in developing their understanding of Learning Outside of the Classroom.

Contact Sally Stratton, Learning Manager, to discuss these opportunities further:

Observation and Feedback

Teacher Training Programme

An opportunity to observe Strawberry Hill staff delivering one of their carousel CPD programmes to teachers, delivering feedback and sharing expertise from a current practitioner’s perspective.

Aim: to improve the quality of CPD programmes delivered by Strawberry Hill House staff.

Time Commitment: key half-day dates throughout the year.  Currently the morning of the 28th November and the afternoon of the 5th December.

Observation and Feedback

“What is Gothic?” A Level Programme

An observation opportunity providing feedback to Strawberry Hill House staff on their delivery of teaching to Year 12 and 13 English Literature students, as well as a chance to consult on marketing strategies associated with this course.

Aim: to develop the role of Strawberry Hill House as a KS5 learning resource.

Time Commitment: key day time dates throughout the year – contact Sally Stratton for details.

Programme Development

Expanding Primary School Provision

An opportunity to provide teacher expertise to support the expansion of Strawberry Hill House’s CPD offer for primary trainees with a specific focus on funding models.

Aim: to develop the role of Strawberry Hill House as a CPD provider.

Time Commitment: Flexible, 2-3 months

Qualitative Research

How can Strawberry Hill House offer valuable Learning Outside of the Classroom experience and training to secondary trainee teachers?

A qualitative research project working in partnership with Strawberry Hill House staff, PGCE students and NQTs with a range of subject specialisms, with an additional focus on funding models.

Aim: to develop Strawberry Hill House’s role as a CPD provider for teachers early in their careers, strengthening relationships with local university providers.

Time Commitment: Flexible, 2-3 months

Interview Candidates

Many parents in The MTPT Project are using their maternity leave to begin or complete MA and PhD qualifications.  Many of these teachers have been studying part time over a number of years whilst balancing school based roles, and family commitments.  Some have even used multiple parental leaves to cleverly balance their academic interests with their teaching loads.

When these MA MaternityTeachers and PaternityTeachers reach dissertation time, they sometimes need candidates for their qualitative research.  If you would be interested in interviewing with these inspiring teachers and academics, please use their contact details below their research offers.

Primary Head Teachers with children aged 0-13

Lucy Starbuck Braidley – MA Dissertation

Lucy’s dissertation focuses on the experiences of primary head teachers with young children and their career pathways.

She is looking for three head teachers to interview.

Time Commitment: A 1 hour telephone/ Skype/ face to face interview before Christmas 2017.

Heads of Department, Assistant Head Teachers and Deputy Head Teachers who are mothers

Simone Facey Holst – Ed Doctorate study

Simone’s research focuses on the experiences of middle and senior leaders who are also mothers.

She is looking for a pool of Heads of Department, Assistant Head Teachers and Deputy Head Teachers to interview.

Time Commitment: A 1 hour telephone/ Skype/ face to face interview.