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...

June 14, 2019
Meta Analysis Blog

Meta-analysis: Don’t do it or Do it more carefully?

Reading Time: Approx 5mins

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?

Reading Time: Approx 5mins

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

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

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...

December 13, 2018
researchED Durham

Working out what works at researchED Durham

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Andrew Pearson

The first conference of its kind in the North East brought together an assortment of thought leaders from the contemporary education scene...

October 25, 2018
What do we mean by research informed practice in education

What do we mean by Research Informed Practice in Education?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Dr Karen Taylor

In 2017, the International School of Geneva’s Institute of Learning and Teaching, in partnership with several outside organizations, launched a series of initiatives whose ultimate purpose is...

June 4, 2018

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

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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...

May 8, 2018
What is PISA telling us

What is PISA telling us, and what can teachers do about it?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Mark Frazer, Teaching and Learning Lead, CEM

Since the publication of the results from the most recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), many researchers and educational bloggers have drawn attention to, and have questioned, the results. For example, Greg Ashman has discussed the implications of the 2015 study on several occasions.

The 2015 PISA study involved assessing the performance of over half a million 15 year olds in 72 countries using a series of computer-based tasks and questionnaires...

April 18, 2018
Evidence Based Educations, Expectations, Barriers and Pitfalls

Evidence-based education: expectations, barriers and pitfalls

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Dr Deborah M. Netolicky

Teachers, school leaders, schools, and education systems around the world are increasingly expected to use data to inform practice.

The Australian school system in which I work is grounded in the 2008 Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians. Among other things, the Declaration outlines the need for schools to have reliable, rich, good quality data on the performance of their students in order to improve outcomes for all students by: supporting successful diagnosis of student progress; supporting designing of high quality learning programs; and informing school approaches to provision of policies, programs, resourcing, relationships with parents and partnerships with community and business. It additionally notes that information about the performance of students helps parents and families make informed choices and engage with their children’s education...

April 10, 2018
Data Matters

Data matters

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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...

February 23, 2018
Changes in Education throughout the years at CEM

Changes in Education Throughout the Years

Video Duration: Approx 42mins

At the end of December, Professor Peter Tymms retired from his role as a Director of CEM.

In 1996, Peter and Professor Carol Taylor-Fitzgibbon brought CEM to Durham University where it grew from a small and focussed research centre to one of the most influential organisations in the field of educational assessment and research – a position that it still holds today...

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…

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...

December 6, 2016
Kids at computer

Education systems can only be accountable for what they can influence

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

Professor Peter Tymms, Director of iPIPS, CEM and School of Education, Durham University

This week’s PISA results show that England’s performance has hardly changed since the last round of assessments in 2012. Indeed, England’s results and the results of most other countries have remained pretty stable since PISA was introduced by the OECD in 2000...