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? ...

November 30, 2017
Testing the water

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

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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...

November 30, 2017
Student Exams

7 questions you need to ask about assessment

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

To a busy teacher, producing good assessments can be a time consuming and daunting prospect.

When it is done well, an assessment can provide you with information that it isn’t possible to find out in any other way.

We have all heard of teachers saying “I’ve set this test to be really hard, no-one will get this right”, but assessment isn’t about you as a teacher pitting your wits against your students. Assessment plays an important part in helping you find out what your students know and, importantly, do not know, in order to better meet their learning needs...

November 15, 2017
Working Together

Working together to get the best from technology in schools

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Robert Cooper, IT Manager

If you work in a school, you’ll probably be just about into the rhythm of things with the first half term under your belt.

A new school year is always a busy time for everyone and it can be stressful. Part of that stress can be caused by your school technology not working the way you want; your classroom projector has changed since last term, you can’t print your notes for the next lesson; or your PC starts up on your first day back with an operating system you’ve never seen before...

November 10, 2017
Teenager Science

Practical science in schools

Reading Time: Approx 1min

By Kirsty Younger

The Practical Work in Science study is nearing the end of its final year of data collection.

The study, funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation with a contribution from the Wellcome Trust, investigates how practical science in schools has been changing during a period of curriculum change and budgetary constraints...

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...

October 11, 2017
International Day of the Girl

International Day of the Girl

Video Duration: Approx 8mins

To mark the 5th International Day of the Girl on 11 October, we invited CEM directors to share their experiences of some of the unique challenges they have faced.

Professor Christine Merrell, Kate Bailey and Emma Beatty speak here about their achievements, their inspiration and motivation…

October 6, 2017
School Lamp

The unintended consequences of pursuing an ‘outstanding’

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Mark Frazer, Teaching and Learning Lead, CEM

Although I now have the luxury of not being accountable to Ofsted, for ten years as a primary headteacher I attempted to navigate the shifting sands of successive inspection frameworks, coming under pressure from various stakeholders to achieve the coveted (by some) ‘outstanding’ judgement.

Since Amanda Spielman assumed the role of Ofsted’s Chief Inspector in January of this year, I have been greatly encouraged and reassured by the tone and focus of her speeches and how this differs to her predecessor...

September 15, 2017
Primary Children

Primary assessment consultation response

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

The government’s response to the review of primary assessment and accountability, published yesterday, contained a mix of good and bad news.

It goes some way to address the disruptions and distractions in primary education over recent years, but perhaps it could have gone further.

The review attracted over 4000 responses and addressed the complex implications for assessment and accountability. It asked for views on the future of the statutory primary assessment system, including assessment in the early years...

August 16, 2017
Teacher Effectiveness

Is student progress the same as teacher effectiveness?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

There’s plenty to cry ‘unfair’ about in teaching right now.

Your classes are getting bigger; there was no money for decent CPD again this year; and you were given bottom set Year 11 for the fourth year running.

And now the value-added results are in. Negative value-added for those Year 11s again? It’s bad enough that they have not met expected progress, but how can they have actually gone backwards? All that extra work you’ve done. All the lunchtimes you’ve missed for those catch up sessions. You are exhausted and now, it seems, you are a terrible teacher....

July 26, 2017
5 Things Learned, Importance of good assessment

Five Things I’ve Learned about the Importance of Good Assessment

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Alex Quigley

Having been a teacher for nearly fifteen years, it may surprise you to hear that I hold a persistent fear that I have been grossly undertrained on a crucial aspect of learning in the classroom: assessment.

I don’t think I am very unique. Teachers are a spectacularly undertrained profession on the whole, given the vast complexity of learning. We do our initial teacher training under immense pressures and tensions, and then, after little under a year, we are chucked our teaching qualification and launched permanently into the deep end of the classroom...

June 22, 2017
Assess Better - Rob Coe

How can teachers learn to be better teachers?

Reading Time: Approx 1min

By Professor Rob Coe

Download Professor Rob Coe’s presentation from the 2017 Festival of Education. We’ll update with a more detailed blog piece at the end of the festival...

June 19, 2017
Rob Coe

Where is the value in assessment?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Professor Rob Coe

Assessment is one of those things that you think you know what it is until you start to really think hard about it. Then the problem of trying to delineate exactly what it is and what it isn’t seems rather more complex than at first sight. Part of the problem is that assessment covers such a wide range of things: some assessment is really part of pedagogy: simply good teaching; some assessment is about measurement: operationalising a trait or attribute; some is about evaluation, stretching into accountability and inseparable from the consequences that attach to outcomes...

June 6, 2017

Five things you need to know about value-added

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

We all know that academic progress is an individual thing. Making progress relies on a whole range of influencing factors and students make progress at different times and at different rates.

All too often the focus on exam results fails to take account of the mammoth steps students and teachers have sometimes taken on the way to attaining their personal summits...

May 16, 2017
Science Students

Practical work in science – CEM wants to hear from you

Reading Time: Approx 6mins

By Kirsty Younger

CEM wants to hear from you on practical work in science.

Policy and practice rarely stand still in the world of education, and science teaching is no exception. Recent years have seen changes to the way that science subjects are assessed at GCSE and A level in England. Importantly, the assessment methods for practical work in science have changed...

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...

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...

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 ...

March 10, 2017
Boy with book

How much difference does going to school make?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Professor Christine Merrell, CEM Director of Research Development.

The contribution of schooling to learning gains of pupils in year 1 to 6

Using longitudinal data from our PIPS and InCAS assessments, we have been able to explore this question...

February 16, 2017
Carol

Carol Taylor Fitz-Gibbon, 1938 – 2017

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Professor Rob Coe, Director, CEM

At the end of January, the educational researcher who influenced me more than any other, my formative mentor, an inspirational leader, and the most innovative educational thinker I have known, died...