The notion of the ‘teacher as researcher’ has been in the education lexicon since the mid-1970s. School-based research, we suggest, is currently enjoying something of a renaissance, flourishing within the emerging, complex school landscape. This empirical research engages with 25 school leaders to explore the ways in which research-active schools are aware of, and using, ethical guidance in their research practices. In light of a dramatically changed educational landscape, we argue that the time is ripe for a discussion with teachers about ethical considerations and approaches to research. While this research takes place in England, the findings are relevant to international audiences, grappling as they do with issues of professional practice, research practice and understandings of ethical issues in school-based research.