The Phoenix Education Trust promotes and supports democratic education, characterised by values of trust, respect, tolerance and responsibility. Wholly democratic schools give all members of a school community – students and staff- an equal say in decision-making about how the school is run, and allow students to choose what, where, when and with whom they study. Phoenix has two key strands of activity, both of which are aimed at making the mechanisms and values of democratic education more widely known and practiced:

  1. Training in schools for students and staff. The training for students is focussed on developing students’ confidence, communication and campaigning skills, contributing to cohesive and collaborative school communities. The training for staff is focussed on exploring more democratic approaches to relationships and student voice structures in and out of the classroom.
  2. Developing the network of individuals and organisations whose work aligns with our values, to grow the movement of people involved with and practicing democratic education

We are currently in the process of a strategic review, part of which will involve designing a new Evaluation Framework for our diverse activities. This new evaluation framework needs to reflect our values, by utilising measurement tools that are dynamic, creative, inclusive, collaborative, qualitative and capable of demonstrating the rich and diverse outcomes and impact of democratic education in mainstream settings. 


What we are looking for...

We are looking to hire a contractor to work with staff of the Phoenix Education Trust to develop a new Evaluation Framework and who will:

  • Identify and design a suitable data collection framework and associated mechanisms to illustrate the impact of our work and reflect our values;
  • Consider how existing tools, such as the Questions for Change survey, can best be incorporated in the new approach;
  • Advise on ethical considerations linked to evaluation activities, including but not limited to: informed consent, participant confidentiality and (with reference to existing Phoenix Education Trust policies) data protection. 

The new evaluation framework will clarify how we can answer the following questions:

  • What changes occur for students as a result of the opportunities that we provide?
  • What cultural changes occur in the schools that we collaborate with?
  • How do Phoenix's programmes impact on teaching and learning?
  • What changes occur for participants in participatory networking and consultation events?
  • Why do these changes take place?
  • How can Phoenix best capture evidence of effective democratic education practice in the UK?



Outputs will be agreed and negotiated based on the successful contractor’s proposed methodology, but it is anticipated that these will include:

  • A literature review, outlining wider evidence of the impact of democratic education values in mainstream settings;
  • Guidance materials, setting out clearly how Phoenix Education Trust staff can best implement the recommended data collection processes and tools;
  • A limited number of case studies or other analytical reports in response to observed school training;
  • Engagement with Phoenix events to carry out some participatory evaluation;
  • The contractor may also be asked to compile analytic reports based on responses to our Questions for Change survey.


Skills and Experience

We would anticipate the successful contractor will possess:

  • Extensive experience designing and delivering qualitative project evaluation, including use of participatory and inclusive evaluation methods;
  • Demonstrable experience conducting research with young people;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to work cooperatively with other members of the team;
  • Knowledge and experience of the education, youth or voluntary sectors (ideally of democratic settings);
  • An affinity for the values of the Phoenix Education Trust.
  • Experience analysing survey data would be an advantage.


Terms and Duration

The anticipated commitment is of between 16 – 25 days between May and September 2017. It is anticipated that approximately 50% of this time will be spent 'on site', either at participating schools or meetings with Phoenix Education staff and trustees (at its Hackney offices).

The contractor will be an independent agent, and will not present as a Phoenix Education Trust employee or speak on its behalf.

The contractor may be required to undertake an enhanced DBS disclosure, arranged and paid for by the Trust.

The dissemination of the final publication (in part or in full) is to be agreed with the Phoenix Education Trust.


Confidentiality and Information Governance

All information supplied to you by Phoenix Education Trust, including this brief and all other documents relating to this procurement process, either in writing or orally, must be treated in confidence and not disclosed to any third party (save to your professional advisers, consortium members and/or sub-contractors strictly for the purposes only of helping you to participate in this process and/or prepare your tender response) unless the information is already in the public domain or is required to be disclosed under any applicable laws.

By submitting a tender response in connection with this procurement process, potential suppliers confirm that they will, and that they shall ensure that any consortium members and/or subcontractors will, comply with all applicable laws, codes of practice, statutory guidance and applicable Phoenix Education Trust policies relevant to the services being supplied. The list of relevant policies includes (but it is not limited to): Child Protection Policy, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, Records Management, and Privacy.


Expressions of Interest

Please submit a CV and proposal (of no more than three pages) by Monday 17th April, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. setting out:

  • How you would approach this project;
  • How you meet the required skills and experience;
  • Your fee, and how this has been calculated;
  • At least one relevant example of a comparable project, explaining clearly your role in this project.