February 3, 2021
4 Signs of an effective Early Years Classroom

4 Signs of an effective Early Years Classroom

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On day one of reception, teachers are exposed to the unknown. Each child will have a different yearning for the start of school – some excited and prepared, others anxious or sad to be away from their home...

January 28, 2021
Christine Merrell

Professor Christine Merrell

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By Kate Bailey, Director of Policy, CEM

On 9th January Professor Christine Merrell, my dear friend and irreplaceable colleague of 25 years, died peacefully after a short illness...

January 7, 2021
ABCs of CEM

ABC’s of CEM

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We are starting the year off by going back to basics and looking at what our assessments are all about. When we were pulling this together we realised they can be very handily arranged alphabetically. So we present to you the ABC’s of CEM.

November 25, 2020
4 ways assessment data can support remote learning

4 ways assessment data can support remote learning

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More than 90% of the world’s schools have been affected by the pandemic this year. That’s hundreds of millions of students faced with school closures.

October 26, 2020
Assessment and well-being blog

Assessment & Well-being

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By Grace Evans

I left teaching because there were ten-year-old children in tears over the SATs in my class. There were several other reasons why I walked away, but the SATs were my tipping point...

October 5, 2020
the power of longitudinal data in schools

The power of longitudinal data in schools

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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

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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

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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...

November 19, 2018
Standardised Scores 101

Standardised Scores 101 – Understanding how Standardised Scores are Calculated

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By Richard Selfridge

If a student scores 65% on a test, what does this tell you? Is this mark good? Bad? Average? If it is deemed to be a good/bad/average mark, against whom is this judgement being made – the other children in a class, in a school, or similar children across the country?...

October 31, 2018
The Level Illusion

The Level Illusion

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By James Pembroke

Back when I worked in a local authority I was asked to build an Excel-based tracking system, something primary schools could use to track pupil progress through levels. “Pupils make three points per year” I was told...

October 17, 2018
Who should be doing what

Evidence-Based Education: Who should be doing what?

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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’...

August 30, 2018
Results are in, whats next

The results are in… so what next?

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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

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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 12, 2018
Teacher with children

Finding the ‘Sweet Spot’ of Teaching, Learning and Assessment

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By Mark Frazer, Teaching and Learning Lead, CEM

In my previous blog post, I considered some of the findings from the 2015 PISA study.

The data appear to suggest that independent or student led activities do not support outcomes as effectively as more traditional teacher led activities.

In reality, can either approach be solely relied upon?...

June 4, 2018

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

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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...

April 26, 2018
How schools can engage

How schools can engage with research and evidence

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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 10, 2018
Data Matters

Data matters

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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...

March 2, 2018
Sense and Accountability

Sense and Accountability

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The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has published a report today calling for reforms to the system for judging England’s primary schools, in order to make it fairer on schools and better for children.

The report, Sense and Accountability: Holding our Primary Schools to account for what matters most, follows consultation with a panel of primary and assessment experts, including CEM Director, Professor Rob Coe and CEM’s Director of Policy, Katharine Bailey...

February 1, 2018

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

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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...