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...

April 1, 2019
5 Musings on the new ofsted inspection framework

5 Musings on the new Ofsted Inspection Framework

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

The Westminster Insight conference for the new Ofsted Education Inspection Framework was held on Tuesday 26 March...

March 8, 2019
A whole new world

A whole new world?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

The educational landscape is undergoing a bit of a shift. Just a mild understatement maybe...

February 20, 2019
10 Essential Reads

10 ESSENTIAL READS to improve reading comprehension

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

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’?...

February 6, 2019
The Big Evidence Debate

The Big Evidence Debate

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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...

January 29, 2019
Translation Evidence into Practice

Translating Evidence into Practice

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

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?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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.

January 10, 2019
Losing Track of your Data

Losing track of your data?

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

Under the new Ofsted framework, inspectors will now “ignore all tracking data” and from September 2019 Ofsted’s goal will be to view performance measures more in the context of the quality of education provided...

March 20, 2018
Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-Based Practice: What it is and what it isn’t

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Dr Gary Jones

We are delighted to host this piece by Gary Jones, in which he draws out the parallels between guidance on the meaning of evidence-based medicine and evidence-based practice in education.

Talking about evidence-based practice often generates a level of concern among teachers who worry that this is an attempt to control or dictate what they can and cannot do; that it removes or devalues their professional judgement; that it reduces the complexity of school and classroom interaction to simplistic recipes based on a narrow range of research methods...

March 2, 2018
Sense and Accountability

Sense and Accountability

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has published a report today calling for reforms to the system for judging England’s primary schools, in order to make it fairer on schools and better for children.

The report, Sense and Accountability: Holding our Primary Schools to account for what matters most, follows consultation with a panel of primary and assessment experts, including CEM Director, Professor Rob Coe and CEM’s Director of Policy, Katharine Bailey...

February 27, 2018
Accountability

Assessment and accountability

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

How many webpages, teacher forums and parent chat rooms abound with acerbic, defensive and downright despondent comments on the system of accountability in schools?

It’s an understatement to say that the accountability system in England is complex. With schools held under 7 types of accountability (professional, hierarchical, market, contractual, legal, network and participative), it is little wonder it can engender a range of dysfunctional and demoralising side effects...

February 13, 2018
Navigating Evidence

Navigating Evidence

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

In recent months there has been a real surge of interest in the ways that evidence and research can be used to help support and improve teaching and learning. The appetite for information and discussion about how evidence can help teachers has never been greater. But with so much information out there it can be difficult to know where to start, and finding the time to get to grips with any of it can be a daunting prospect...

February 1, 2018

Let’s give teachers the information they need to improve children’s academic outcomes

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Since the early 1990s CEM has offered a baseline assessment for primary schools.

We know it is vital that teachers have access to reliable information throughout reception, to help them make informed decisions so they can transform the academic outcomes of the children they teach...

December 14, 2017
Pupils taught well

Pupils taught well in Reception Class do better in their GCSEs

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By Professor Christine Merrell

New research from academics at CEM and Durham University shows that attendance at an effective Reception class at age 4 is linked to better GCSE results at age 16.

This study, led by Professor Peter Tymms, followed a large sample of children (around 40,000) in England from the start of Reception, at age 4, right through to the end of compulsory education at age 16...

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 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

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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 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...