April 17, 2019
Apples and Oranges

Comparing apples with oranges

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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?

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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?

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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...

December 13, 2018
researchED Durham

Working out what works at researchED Durham

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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...

November 24, 2018

Why assessment may tell you less than you think – Part 2

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By Rob Coe

In part 1 of this blog post, I posed five questions about these uses of assessments. I’m going to take these questions in reverse order...

September 22, 2017
Ark Child

Using CEM Base to support teachers

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By Lydia Cuddy-Gibbs, Head of EYFS, Ark

At last, September has arrived and the start of a new school year. As the Early Years Lead across 23 schools with Early Years settings, I’m excited about opening our doors to new reception pupils across the Ark network.

A big part of my role is to ensure that all our children are assessed carefully and accurately at every stage of their EYFS journey.

To collect data at the start and end of the reception year, schools in the Ark network have been using the BASE assessment from CEM for the last two years...

September 15, 2017
Primary Children

Primary assessment consultation response

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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?

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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....

June 6, 2017

Five things you need to know about value-added

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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 11, 2017

What makes great assessment?

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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

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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 10, 2017
Boy with book

How much difference does going to school make?

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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 3, 2017
Girl On Computer

The future of primary assessment: Learning first or accountability?

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Christine Merrell, Head Teachers' Roundtable Summit, 2nd Feb 2017

I was asked to speak about the future of primary assessment in relation to learning and accountability at the Head Teachers’ Roundtable Summit in London on 2nd Feb. The summit offered an opportunity to debate matters that enable schools to thrive and flourish, and was clearly an important forum, attracting over 200 delegates...

January 24, 2017
Maths

Investigating Mathematical Attainment and Progress (IMAP)

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by Dr Lee Copping

Low attainment is acknowledged to be one of the most serious problems in mathematics education.

The proportion of the very lowest attaining students at the end of Key Stage 3 has roughly doubled since the 1970s. This group now constitutes about 15% of the Year 9 cohort and these students have difficulty answering even basic questions about core ideas...

December 6, 2016
Kids at computer

Education systems can only be accountable for what they can influence

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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...

November 1, 2016
Music Child

Making a positive primary to secondary transition in Music

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By Dimitra Kokotsaki

Moving from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 can be a big upheaval for many pupils. Schools work hard to ease the transition with a range of policies, plans, mechanisms and strategies. But do they always work...