23 Think Tanks Every Teacher Should Know

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Who are the think tanks that influence government policy and what influence do they have on education pedagogy?

This is an updated version of 18 and 21 Think Tanks Every Teacher Should Know, listed by their influence on education policy and if this impact is high or low. The new diagram – updated from the 21 Think Tanks list published earlier this month – includes more organisations and if they have a particular left, centre or right-leaning bias.

You can enlarge the graphic at the foot of this post.


Did you know, think tanks by law aren’t allowed to be political? So, although think tanks may be ‘left or right learning’ or that their ‘policies correspond with governments’, they can lean left or right but cannot act in favour of a political party. It is worth noting that this is an informal blog and there is no intention to harm any charitable statuses.

We want this graphic to spark a debate. This is a modified version after feedback from publishing the first two graphs.

*Disclaimer – likely to be some errors and interpretation. This is not 100% reliable or valid.

Think Tanks call themselves as such, because their primary purpose to influence policy. Their influence on school policy and political spectrum position are purely subjective judgement calls and are limited by the space available on the page.

What is their purpose and what do they do? I hope this provides teachers with a useful overview. There are hundreds of others listed here. If you are interested in who funds which Think Tank and their transparency, visit Who Funds You?

You can download the graphic here.


In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

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