December 5, 2019
Evaluating Impact

Evaluating Impact

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Kate Bailey, Director of Policy, CEM

Each year, the education system spends astonishing amounts of money on implementing educational initiatives which often yield only negligible impact on learners...

October 8, 2019

5 top tips for NQTs to crack assessment

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

Your first year of teaching presents you with a wealth of challenges. How do you manage behaviour? How do you cope with the workload? How can you do your best? How will you know if you are a good teacher?...

September 4, 2019
Knowledge in the light

Evidence-based policy and practice in education – knowledge in the light or strategy in the dark?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Tim Oates CBE, Group Director of Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment

The term ‘evidence-based policy’ rose to particular prominence in the early years of the New Labour administration, following the 1997 general election...

July 5, 2019
Measuring progress in education

Measuring Progress in Education

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

At the 10th Annual Festival of Education, held at the beautiful Wellington College, CEM hosted a panel on “Measuring progress in education: The good, the bad and the future.”...

June 27, 2019

The Big Evidence Debate – Catch Up

On Tuesday 4th June 2019 we held the first ever Big Evidence Debate.


Leading educational experts Dylan Wiliam and Larry Hedges gave fascinating keynote presentations, and thought leaders and educational practitioners joined them to debate the contribution that meta-analysis and randomised control trials make to understanding what works in education.

June 21, 2019
The good, the bad, the future

Measuring Progress in Education – The good, the bad and the future

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Richard Selfridge

In recent years, ‘progress’ or ‘growth’ has become a much-discussed issue in education. The terminology has often been used to mean a numerical summary of a child’s development over time, usually when compared to their peers...

June 20, 2019
Root of evil

Progress measures are the root of all evil

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By James Pembroke

In their pursuit of a number - a neat proxy for the distance travelled between two points - schools can do some crazy stuff...

June 20, 2019
An exercise in mega-silliness

Is meta-analysis all just ‘an exercise in mega-silliness’?

Reading Time: Approx 5mins

By Stuart Kime

To my mind, there was something heroic about Gene Glass’ presidential address to the 1976 American Educational Research Association annual meeting...

June 14, 2019
Meta Analysis Blog

Meta-analysis: Don’t do it or Do it more carefully?

Reading Time: Approx 5mins

By Philippa Cordingley

Meta-analyses (like the popular Sutton Trust Tool Kit and Hattie’s Visible Learning) apparently offer a more sophisticated and orderly approach to our world than the messy reality of day to day practice...

June 11, 2019
Is Meta-Analysis the best we can do?

Is meta-analysis the best we can do?

Reading Time: Approx 5mins

By Professor Steve Higgins

Is meta-analysis in its current state trustworthy enough to be a basis for practitioner decisions?...

June 6, 2019
Introducing the 50 Percent Rule

The Big Evidence Debate: Introducing the 50% rule

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Lee Elliot-Major

As a news editor, I developed my own 50% rule: reporters should spend as much time writing their stories as getting the stories in the first place. Journalists often race back into the newsroom with great tales to tell...

August 30, 2018
Results are in, whats next

The results are in… so what next?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Sue Holt

The GCSE and IGCSE results have been published so no doubt there have been celebrations, commiserations and, in some cases, recriminations.

So what factors should schools consider when looking at the results?...

August 21, 2018
Looking at value-added on results day

The importance of looking at value-added on results day

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Mark S. Steed, Director, JESS, Dubai

This week sees thousands of students receiving their GCSE results.

Now is also the time when many anxious parents hope that their children have the best possible exam results that will allow them to progress to sixth form or college, and join the path they hope will take them to university and into successful and fulfilled employment...

June 4, 2018

Making a world of difference: my experience of using evidence in international schools

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Sue Holt, Vice Principal, New Cairo British International School

It would be an easy task to list the benefits of working in an international school.

Less easy would be finding ways to meet some of the unexpected and complex challenges that face senior leaders in an international education...

May 17, 2018
Assessment without Levels Webinar

Assessment without Levels: Using CEM data

Has the removal of national curriculum levels in England created a broader interest in assessment practices?

The removal of levels back in 2014 caused chaos, confusion and consternation amongst many educators. To some, levels were a secure, reliable, dependable way of scaffolding a child’s journey through school. To others, they represented the limitations of people’s understanding about learning and assessment practice...

April 10, 2018
Data Matters

Data matters

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

Mark Steed, Director of JESS, Dubai

There is broad agreement in research that effective use of data is vital to school improvement. We know that the effective use of data can promote better teaching and learning through practices such as tracking pupil progress, setting targets, identifying where students need further support, strategic planning and performance management.

Therefore, it stands to reason that there is also a need for school leaders to have high levels of assessment and data skills...

February 27, 2018
Accountability

Assessment and accountability

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

How many webpages, teacher forums and parent chat rooms abound with acerbic, defensive and downright despondent comments on the system of accountability in schools?

It’s an understatement to say that the accountability system in England is complex. With schools held under 7 types of accountability (professional, hierarchical, market, contractual, legal, network and participative), it is little wonder it can engender a range of dysfunctional and demoralising side effects...

February 23, 2018
Changes in Education throughout the years at CEM

Changes in Education Throughout the Years

Video Duration: Approx 42mins

At the end of December, Professor Peter Tymms retired from his role as a Director of CEM.

In 1996, Peter and Professor Carol Taylor-Fitzgibbon brought CEM to Durham University where it grew from a small and focussed research centre to one of the most influential organisations in the field of educational assessment and research – a position that it still holds today...

February 1, 2018

Let’s give teachers the information they need to improve children’s academic outcomes

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

Since the early 1990s CEM has offered a baseline assessment for primary schools.

We know it is vital that teachers have access to reliable information throughout reception, to help them make informed decisions so they can transform the academic outcomes of the children they teach...

November 15, 2017
Working Together

Working together to get the best from technology in schools

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Robert Cooper, IT Manager

If you work in a school, you’ll probably be just about into the rhythm of things with the first half term under your belt.

A new school year is always a busy time for everyone and it can be stressful. Part of that stress can be caused by your school technology not working the way you want; your classroom projector has changed since last term, you can’t print your notes for the next lesson; or your PC starts up on your first day back with an operating system you’ve never seen before...

September 22, 2017
Ark Child

Using CEM Base to support teachers

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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...

August 16, 2017
Teacher Effectiveness

Is student progress the same as teacher effectiveness?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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....

May 16, 2017
Science Students

Practical work in science – CEM wants to hear from you

Reading Time: Approx 6mins

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...