October 8, 2019

5 top tips for NQTs to crack assessment

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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’?

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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?

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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?

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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

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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...

May 30, 2019
Phil Stock Blog Meta-Analysis

Meta-analyses and the making of an evidence-informed profession

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By Phil Stock

Before entering into a broader discussion about the use of meta-analysis in school decision-making, it’s worth appreciating just how far teaching has progressed towards becoming an evidence-informed profession...

February 20, 2019
10 Essential Reads

10 ESSENTIAL READS to improve reading comprehension

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How many of us, I wonder, in our first year of teaching came across that small child who was always reading, always carrying big thick books and invariably introduced as a ‘book worm’?...

January 29, 2019
Translation Evidence into Practice

Translating Evidence into Practice

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By Megan Dixon

In education, translating evidence into practice is a process which involves everyone, from classroom-based teachers, to school leadership teams, local authorities and to the wider education communities...

January 16, 2019
Why does vocabulary matter

Why does vocabulary matter?

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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.

July 17, 2018
Vocabulary a number of words

Vocabulary: A number of words?

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By Alex Quigley

Deep vocabulary learning is irreversible, irreplaceable and essential to learning and thinking. However, as it is so integral to all of schooling and learning beyond the school gates, it proves very difficult to assess and evaluate effectively. Simply counting up words in lists will never do the job adequately...

November 30, 2017
Testing the water

Teachers need greater support in order to understand and maximise the value of assessment in their classrooms

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A new report, Testing the Water: How assessment can underpin, not undermine, great teaching, published today by LKMCO and Pearson, calls for more support for teachers and greater understanding of assessment across education sector.

The report is based on a year-long research project including a national survey of over 1,000 teachers in England, opinions from focus groups, an online consultation, thought-pieces from fourteen leading educationalists, and three international case studies...

July 8, 2016
Teacher Child

Understanding what works in oral reading assessments

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by Professors Christine Merrell and Peter Tymms

Last week saw the publication of the new online and open-access report, Understanding What Works in Oral Reading Assessments. Produced collaboratively by the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the Global Partnership for Education and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the report contains an important chapter, ‘Assessing Young Children: Problems and Solutions’, co-authored by CEM’s Director of Research, Professor Christine Merrell and iPIPS Director, Professor Peter Tymms...

May 24, 2016
Lee Copping

What’s in a name?

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by Dr Lee Copping

New research from CEM shows that the length of a child’s name is not predictive of future academic attainment.

There are few who would dispute that the ability to write one’s own name acts as a gateway for future literacy abilities. Previous research in education however has suggested that the length of a child’s name may be predictive of future academic attainment (Treiman, Kessler and Bourassa, 2001)...