January 17, 2020
What do teachers want

What do teachers want?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

Fundamentally, teachers want to do the best by their students. The ideal end-goal is to be able to send our students out into the world armed with the best education we can provide so that they can go on to become functioning, happy and valuable members of society...

January 9, 2020
Standardised Tests 101

Standardised Tests 101 – how and why tests are standardised

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Richard Selfridge

Standardising a test score is fairly straightforward and I walked readers through the process. As I said, however, “deciding whether test scores reported in this way are meaningful depends on a number of other variables which come into play – and that requires an understanding of a whole raft of issues”...

December 10, 2019
CM Define

Maths is for life…not just for Christmas

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

Have you written your Christmas list yet? What if the educational community had a stocking? What presents would we want to wake up to?...

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...

January 16, 2019
Why does vocabulary matter

Why does vocabulary matter?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Megan Dixon

A good vocabulary is an important building block for helping young children to communicate effectively, but it’s also essential to school performance more widely.

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...

December 14, 2017
Pupils taught well

Pupils taught well in Reception Class do better in their GCSEs

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

By Professor Christine Merrell

New research from academics at CEM and Durham University shows that attendance at an effective Reception class at age 4 is linked to better GCSE results at age 16.

This study, led by Professor Peter Tymms, followed a large sample of children (around 40,000) in England from the start of Reception, at age 4, right through to the end of compulsory education at age 16...

November 8, 2017
Teaching Children

6 elements of great teaching

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

Teaching can be, without a doubt, a complicated business.

Defining effective teaching is not straightforward and there are many facets to it that combine to make great learning happen.

Since its publication in 2014, research published by the Sutton Trust outlining the key elements of effective teaching has been downloaded over 100,000 times...

October 25, 2017

6 Tactics to help a child work on set tasks

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Professor Christine Merrell

Children who are inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive are likely to benefit from an environment which is well structured and predictable. It is good for them to know what is going to come next.

Unexpected events, movements between lessons and anything where there are unexpected happenings can be difficult to cope with. It therefore makes sense to start the day by explaining what is going to happen...

October 18, 2017
Inattentive Child

Inattentive behaviour in the classroom

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Professor Christine Merrell

It can be hard for even the best teachers to notice differences in the behaviour of one child in a busy primary classroom, even though responding to these signs can be the key to helping a child make good progress.

However, I hope that research by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University will be able to offer both new insights and practical help...

April 25, 2017
David Weston

Assessment for Teacher Learning: Making CPD responsive

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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...

April 26, 2016
Confused Boy

Helping teachers give every child the support they need

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Dr Christine Merrell

It can be hard for even the best teachers to notice differences in the behaviour of one child in a busy primary classroom, even though responding to these signs can be the key to helping a child make good progress.

However, I hope that new research by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University will be able to offer both new insights and practical help...