Basing education policy decisions on evidence

How can a government be confident that the decisions it makes will improve learning for the nation’s children?

The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring is committed to supporting evidence-based policy making. We offer independent help and advice for policy makers, drawing on our unique data and experience.

Our bank of assessment data stretches back over 30 years and our research experience enables us to interpret this evidence. As a politically neutral part of Durham University our advice is trusted by all governments.

Over the last 20 years our directors have given evidence to various select committees, for example, on issues such as standards in GCSE and the relationship in primary schools of good baseline measurements to later outcomes. We are represented on the board of Ofqual, the qualifications regulator.

Advice at points of change

CEM’s systems have been tracking children’s ability and attitudes from Reception right through to A level for such a length of time that we can identify where policy interventions can really make an impact when pupils start school, when they enter secondary education, when they sit their exams, when they go on to university or work – for all these important points of change, we can inform policy decision making.

Although we are involved at a high level, our thinking starts with just one child: how we can help to improve their prospects through life until they reach the age of 18, improving their long-term prospects.

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