The paper examines the relationship between research and practice. Its starting point is a consideration of the difference between policy science and scholarship. This leads to an analysis of the current importance attached by the state to evidence‐informed practice and systematic review. Such research strategies will, it is claimed, lead to enhanced educational practice. This is to be facilitated through the incorporation of best practice as well as the dissemination of research findings that can be used to inform practice in general. The paper suggests that these claims are overstated as they fail to recognise the complexity of educational practice. They also neglect the politics of educational research and draw upon a limited understanding of practice, one that is tied to teacher practice.