In 2004, McLaughlin, Black-Hawkins and McIntyre published a literature review that explored the ways in which individual teachers, whole schools and groups of networked schools were engaging in practitioner research and enquiry. In the light of significant changes to the education landscape, the empirical research in this article provides an account of engagement with 25 school leaders to explore what schools are doing in the area of practitioner ‘research’ or ‘enquiry’ today. Although teachers in schools may both use research and generate findings, this research was particularly concerned with the generation of professional knowledge through research and enquiry in schools in England today. A sample of school leaders was interviewed to establish their current approach. Findings include questions about the effects on teachers’ dissatisfaction in the face of a revealed gap between actuality and idealism, the possible evolution of a new teacher-educator population and the effects on those working in higher education as they address the shifting needs of twenty-first-century teacher education. As school-based research continues to be a factor, this represents a timely scoping of the thinking of school senior leaders and considers the implications of this developing practice.