June 12, 2020
10 Top tips for using data in schools

10 top tips for using data in schools

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Suzanne Crocker, Product Manager, Cambridge International and CEM data expert

There is so much data available in schools that it can be overwhelming; whole school, cohort, comparisons within a cohort, historical comparisons, subject, class, individual student, teacher-generated. So if you want the data to make a real impact on student achievement, where do you start?...

May 1, 2020
Covid-19 and learning loss

COVID-19 and learning loss

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

There is no research that can show us what the educational impact of COVID-19 school closures might be. Never in our lifetimes have so many schools for so many children been closed...

April 8, 2020
Data A Silver Lining

Data: a silver lining

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

It was inevitable: the school closures were going to present more than a few challenges for children, parents and teachers...

February 12, 2020
Baseline Assessment: Make it work for you

Baseline Assessment: Make it work for you

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Katharine Bailey, CEM Director of Policy

We know it is vital that teachers have access to reliable information to support them in making the best decisions, so they can transform the academic outcomes of the children they teach...

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 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...

May 24, 2019
Systematic Reviews and meta-analyses

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses – what’s all the fuss?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Megan Dixon

Should we be using systematic reviews and meta-analyses as teachers and school leaders to support the decisions we make, or is that a luxury? How do they actually help?...

May 20, 2019
Where is the value in meta-analysis

Where is the value in meta-analysis?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Dr Niki Kaiser

Before I trained as a teacher, I worked as a researcher, investigating the effect of phytoplankton processes in the ocean...

April 17, 2019
Apples and Oranges

Comparing apples with oranges

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

How do you compare apples with oranges? Or even apples with oranges with cherries with bananas with peaches?

This isn’t a joke question that has a pithy punchline...

February 6, 2019
The Big Evidence Debate

The Big Evidence Debate

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Rob Coe

Meta-analysis involves the aggregation of data from existing studies that share key features, in order to create a summary that reflects all the available evidence...

September 12, 2018
Systematic Reviews and Weather Systems

Systematic Reviews and Weather Forecasts – how purpose shapes the significance of systematic reviews for different education stakeholders

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Philippa Cordingley, Paul Crisp & Steve Higgins

We are planning a barbeque in our new house next weekend and we want to know if it’s going to rain. We look at the weather forecast and it tells us there’s a 25% chance of rain...

September 6, 2018
What should we do about meta-analysis and effect size

What should we do about meta-analysis and effect size?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Rob Coe

In part 1 of this series of blog posts, I set out some of the recent criticisms that have been made by researchers such as Wiliam, Simpson and Slavin about the use of effect sizes to compare the impact of different interventions and the resulting problems in combining them in meta-analysis...

September 5, 2018
Serious Critiques of Meta-Analysis and Effect Size

Serious critiques of meta-analysis and effect size: researchED 2018

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Rob Coe

Since I became a researcher in the late 1990s, I have been an advocate of using effect size and meta-analysis for summarising and combining results from research.

It seems hard to imagine now, but back then, both approaches were well outside the mainstream of educational research practice and were neither widely used nor understood by most education researchers, let alone policymakers or teachers...