October 11, 2017
International Day of the Girl

International Day of the Girl

To mark the 5th International Day of the Girl on 11 October, we invited CEM directors to share their experiences of some of the unique challenges they have faced.

Professor Christine Merrell, Kate Bailey and Emma Beatty speak here about their achievements, their inspiration and motivation…

October 6, 2017
School Lamp

The unintended consequences of pursuing an ‘outstanding’

By Mark Frazer, Teaching and Learning Lead, CEM

Although I now have the luxury of not being accountable to Ofsted, for ten years as a primary headteacher I attempted to navigate the shifting sands of successive inspection frameworks, coming under pressure from various stakeholders to achieve the coveted (by some) ‘outstanding’ judgement.

Since Amanda Spielman assumed the role of Ofsted’s Chief Inspector in January of this year, I have been greatly encouraged and reassured by the tone and focus of her speeches and how this differs to her predecessor...

September 22, 2017
Ark Child

Using CEM Base to support teachers

By Lydia Cuddy-Gibbs, Head of EYFS, Ark

At last, September has arrived and the start of a new school year. As the Early Years Lead across 23 schools with Early Years settings, I’m excited about opening our doors to new reception pupils across the Ark network.

A big part of my role is to ensure that all our children are assessed carefully and accurately at every stage of their EYFS journey.

To collect data at the start and end of the reception year, schools in the Ark network have been using the BASE assessment from CEM for the last two years...

September 15, 2017
Primary Children

Primary assessment consultation response

The government’s response to the review of primary assessment and accountability, published yesterday, contained a mix of good and bad news.

It goes some way to address the disruptions and distractions in primary education over recent years, but perhaps it could have gone further.

The review attracted over 4000 responses and addressed the complex implications for assessment and accountability. It asked for views on the future of the statutory primary assessment system, including assessment in the early years...

August 16, 2017
Teacher Effectiveness

Is student progress the same as teacher effectiveness?

There’s plenty to cry ‘unfair’ about in teaching right now.

Your classes are getting bigger; there was no money for decent CPD again this year; and you were given bottom set Year 11 for the fourth year running.

And now the value-added results are in. Negative value-added for those Year 11s again? It’s bad enough that they have not met expected progress, but how can they have actually gone backwards? All that extra work you’ve done. All the lunchtimes you’ve missed for those catch up sessions. You are exhausted and now, it seems, you are a terrible teacher....

July 26, 2017
5 Things Learned, Importance of good assessment

Five Things I’ve Learned about the Importance of Good Assessment

By Alex Quigley

Having been a teacher for nearly fifteen years, it may surprise you to hear that I hold a persistent fear that I have been grossly undertrained on a crucial aspect of learning in the classroom: assessment.

I don’t think I am very unique. Teachers are a spectacularly undertrained profession on the whole, given the vast complexity of learning. We do our initial teacher training under immense pressures and tensions, and then, after little under a year, we are chucked our teaching qualification and launched permanently into the deep end of the classroom...

June 22, 2017
Assess Better - Rob Coe

How can teachers learn to be better teachers?

By Professor Rob Coe

Download Professor Rob Coe’s presentation from the 2017 Festival of Education. We’ll update with a more detailed blog piece at the end of the festival...

June 19, 2017
Rob Coe

Where is the value in assessment?

By Professor Rob Coe

Assessment is one of those things that you think you know what it is until you start to really think hard about it. Then the problem of trying to delineate exactly what it is and what it isn’t seems rather more complex than at first sight. Part of the problem is that assessment covers such a wide range of things: some assessment is really part of pedagogy: simply good teaching; some assessment is about measurement: operationalising a trait or attribute; some is about evaluation, stretching into accountability and inseparable from the consequences that attach to outcomes...

June 6, 2017

Five things you need to know about value-added

We all know that academic progress is an individual thing. Making progress relies on a whole range of influencing factors and students make progress at different times and at different rates.

All too often the focus on exam results fails to take account of the mammoth steps students and teachers have sometimes taken on the way to attaining their personal summits...

May 16, 2017
Science Students

Practical work in science – CEM wants to hear from you

By Kirsty Younger

CEM wants to hear from you on practical work in science.

Policy and practice rarely stand still in the world of education, and science teaching is no exception. Recent years have seen changes to the way that science subjects are assessed at GCSE and A level in England. Importantly, the assessment methods for practical work in science have changed...

May 11, 2017

What makes great assessment?

Almost 20 years ago, at the very tail-end of the last century, Professor Rob Coe published his Manifesto for Evidence-Based Education, in which he argued for evidence-based policy, evidence-based practice and the promotion of a culture of evidence.

“‘Evidence-based’ is the latest buzz word in education” he wrote in 1999. If the Chartered College of Teaching event...

April 25, 2017
David Weston

Assessment for Teacher Learning: Making CPD responsive

by David Weston

Here’s the big idea – teachers can only improve their practice when they also improve their ability to assess.

Dylan Wiliam, along with his colleague Paul Black, could be considered the fathers of formative assessment. And yet Dylan Wiliam considers this one of his biggest mistakes, wishing he’d called it something like ‘responsive teaching’ instead...