October 5, 2020
the power of longitudinal data in schools

The power of longitudinal data in schools

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Dr Matthew Carroll, Assessment, Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment

This summer – this whole year – has been unprecedented in many ways. For those working in education and assessment, the challenges have been considerable...

September 24, 2020
Too much testing in schools

Too much testing in schools?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

Too much testing?

It’s a common complaint from students, teachers, the press, and even the odd politician: there’s just too much testing in schools...

September 4, 2020
Does predictive data limit ambition or maximise potential

Does predictive data limit ambition or maximise potential?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

The short answer: it all depends on how you use the data.

Teachers are not fortune tellers or magicians despite the wonders they can often work...

August 28, 2020
How do we make predictions of future exam outcomes

How do we make predictions of future exam outcomes?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Andrew Lyth, Statistician, CEM

At CEM, we make predictions by applying statistical techniques to the data we have on the exam performances and baseline measures of students...

August 19, 2020
How baseline assessment can support you when schools return

How baseline assessments can support you when schools return

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Kate Bailey, Director of Policy and Kate McKim, Marketing Executive at CEM

The COVID-19 crisis has caused widespread school closures in 188 countries and 1.7 billion children, young people and their families have been disrupted as a direct result (OECD, 2020)...

August 12, 2020

Beginning a journey

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Mark Frazer, Teaching and Learning Lead at CEM

As the new school year draws near, many teachers will be planning the ‘educational journey’ for their new students, and knowing precisely where all of your students are starting from is invaluable...

July 17, 2020
5 reasons to use adaptive tests

5 reasons to use adaptive tests

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

Assessment in education has always been an important issue, and each school has its own approach...

July 1, 2020
How does assessment data impact student learning?

How does assessment data impact student learning?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Kate Bailey, Director of Policy, CEM

Data has always played a critical role in making good decisions in commerce and in the health sector, but education has lagged behind a bit...

June 12, 2020
10 Top tips for using data in schools

10 top tips for using data in schools

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Suzanne Crocker, Product Manager, Cambridge International and CEM data expert

There is so much data available in schools that it can be overwhelming; whole school, cohort, comparisons within a cohort, historical comparisons, subject, class, individual student, teacher-generated. So if you want the data to make a real impact on student achievement, where do you start?...

May 1, 2020
Covid-19 and learning loss

COVID-19 and learning loss

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

There is no research that can show us what the educational impact of COVID-19 school closures might be. Never in our lifetimes have so many schools for so many children been closed...

April 8, 2020
Data A Silver Lining

Data: a silver lining

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

It was inevitable: the school closures were going to present more than a few challenges for children, parents and teachers...

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.

October 17, 2018
Who should be doing what

Evidence-Based Education: Who should be doing what?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Dr Gary Jones

Being a teacher is hard enough, without spending unnecessary amounts of time on practices that just don’t make any real kind of an impact. It’s not enough for an intervention or practice to have merit, it needs to be ‘worth it’...

April 26, 2018
How schools can engage

How schools can engage with research and evidence

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Dr Deborah M. Netolicky

It makes sense that the most effective teaching methods are used in classrooms, and that the most effective leadership governance practices are used in schools, but how do educators decide on what evidence on which they should rely, to whom they should listen, and how they might engage meaningfully with research findings? How do we know what research is worth listening to, what is worth ignoring, and what has been debunked?

In my last post for the CEM Blog, I explored the dangers of educators accepting seemingly simple solutions to the complex problems of education. In this post I suggest five ways in which teachers, schools, and systems can meaningfully engage in research...

April 18, 2018
Evidence Based Educations, Expectations, Barriers and Pitfalls

Evidence-based education: expectations, barriers and pitfalls

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Dr Deborah M. Netolicky

Teachers, school leaders, schools, and education systems around the world are increasingly expected to use data to inform practice.

The Australian school system in which I work is grounded in the 2008 Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians. Among other things, the Declaration outlines the need for schools to have reliable, rich, good quality data on the performance of their students in order to improve outcomes for all students by: supporting successful diagnosis of student progress; supporting designing of high quality learning programs; and informing school approaches to provision of policies, programs, resourcing, relationships with parents and partnerships with community and business. It additionally notes that information about the performance of students helps parents and families make informed choices and engage with their children’s education...

March 20, 2018
Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-Based Practice: What it is and what it isn’t

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Dr Gary Jones

We are delighted to host this piece by Gary Jones, in which he draws out the parallels between guidance on the meaning of evidence-based medicine and evidence-based practice in education.

Talking about evidence-based practice often generates a level of concern among teachers who worry that this is an attempt to control or dictate what they can and cannot do; that it removes or devalues their professional judgement; that it reduces the complexity of school and classroom interaction to simplistic recipes based on a narrow range of research methods...

March 13, 2018
Reporting the evidence

Reporting the evidence: what research can tell us about how assessment data is used

Podcast Duration: Approx 17mins

Katharine Bailey is Director of Policy here at CEM, and for many years she has been working with schools and governments in the UK and around the world, helping them to use assessment data for pupil and school improvement...

March 8, 2018
Translating Evidence into Improvement

Translating Evidence into Improvement: why is it so hard?

Podcast Duration: Approx 24mins

Amongst a range of speakers focussing on what works, what doesn’t, with examples of good practice from across the North East schools community, CEM Director and Professor of Education, Rob Coe, discussed some of the issues around using evidence to improve outcomes.

February 13, 2018
Navigating Evidence

Navigating Evidence

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

In recent months there has been a real surge of interest in the ways that evidence and research can be used to help support and improve teaching and learning. The appetite for information and discussion about how evidence can help teachers has never been greater. But with so much information out there it can be difficult to know where to start, and finding the time to get to grips with any of it can be a daunting prospect...

December 7, 2017
Woman Thinking

How can evidence help schools spend money wisely?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Kate Bailey, Director of Policy, CEM

The Queen’s speech after this year’s general election pledged to deliver fairer funding for schools, building on the national funding formula consultation that closed in March this year.

If government believes that the way schools use their money is the key to delivering the best outcomes for pupils, what decisions can schools take that will make the most of their financial resources? ...

May 11, 2017

What makes great assessment?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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...

March 14, 2017
Stuart Kime

No robust evidence to prove learning styles exist

Video Duration: Approx 4mins

presented by Stuart Kime

This week leading academics from the worlds of neuroscience, education and psychology expressed their concerns over the continuing popularity of the theory of ‘learning styles’, saying the approach is ineffective, a waste of resources and ...

February 15, 2017
Rob Coe

A Vision for Enhanced Professionalism

Video Duration: Approx 24mins

presented by Professor Rob Coe

"Teaching is far and away the most important of all professions. Teachers make more difference to more people's lives, in a way that more people feel passionate about... what they do really matters." - Professor Robert Coe, Director, CEM.

The new professional body for the teaching profession, The Chartered College of Teaching hosted their inaugural conference in London on Thursday 16th February...