February 3, 2021
4 Signs of an effective Early Years Classroom

4 Signs of an effective Early Years Classroom

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

On day one of reception, teachers are exposed to the unknown. Each child will have a different yearning for the start of school – some excited and prepared, others anxious or sad to be away from their home...

January 28, 2021
Christine Merrell

Professor Christine Merrell

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Kate Bailey, Director of Policy, CEM

On 9th January Professor Christine Merrell, my dear friend and irreplaceable colleague of 25 years, died peacefully after a short illness...

January 7, 2021
ABCs of CEM

ABC’s of CEM

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We are starting the year off by going back to basics and looking at what our assessments are all about. When we were pulling this together we realised they can be very handily arranged alphabetically. So we present to you the ABC’s of CEM.

November 25, 2020
4 ways assessment data can support remote learning

4 ways assessment data can support remote learning

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

More than 90% of the world’s schools have been affected by the pandemic this year. That’s hundreds of millions of students faced with school closures.

October 26, 2020
Assessment and well-being blog

Assessment & Well-being

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By Grace Evans

I left teaching because there were ten-year-old children in tears over the SATs in my class. There were several other reasons why I walked away, but the SATs were my tipping point...

October 5, 2020
the power of longitudinal data in schools

The power of longitudinal data in schools

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By Dr Matthew Carroll, Assessment, Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment

This summer – this whole year – has been unprecedented in many ways. For those working in education and assessment, the challenges have been considerable...

September 24, 2020
Too much testing in schools

Too much testing in schools?

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Too much testing?

It’s a common complaint from students, teachers, the press, and even the odd politician: there’s just too much testing in schools...

September 4, 2020
Does predictive data limit ambition or maximise potential

Does predictive data limit ambition or maximise potential?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

The short answer: it all depends on how you use the data.

Teachers are not fortune tellers or magicians despite the wonders they can often work...

August 28, 2020
How do we make predictions of future exam outcomes

How do we make predictions of future exam outcomes?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Andrew Lyth, Statistician, CEM

At CEM, we make predictions by applying statistical techniques to the data we have on the exam performances and baseline measures of students...

August 19, 2020
How baseline assessment can support you when schools return

How baseline assessments can support you when schools return

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Kate Bailey, Director of Policy and Kate McKim, Marketing Executive at CEM

The COVID-19 crisis has caused widespread school closures in 188 countries and 1.7 billion children, young people and their families have been disrupted as a direct result (OECD, 2020)...

August 12, 2020

Beginning a journey

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By Mark Frazer, Teaching and Learning Lead at CEM

As the new school year draws near, many teachers will be planning the ‘educational journey’ for their new students, and knowing precisely where all of your students are starting from is invaluable...

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

What do we mean by Research Informed Practice in Education?

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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...

October 17, 2018
Who should be doing what

Evidence-Based Education: Who should be doing what?

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By Dr Gary Jones

Being a teacher is hard enough, without spending unnecessary amounts of time on practices that just don’t make any real kind of an impact. It’s not enough for an intervention or practice to have merit, it needs to be ‘worth it’...

October 9, 2018
How can we trust research

How can we trust research?

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By Dr Gary Jones

A major challenge for anyone interested in the use of research within both schools and the wider education system is to try and make some kind of judgment about the trustworthiness and quality of research...

September 19, 2018
Is It Time To Ditch Differentiation

Is it time to ditch ‘Differentiation’?

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By Greg Ashman

I suspect I would struggle to find a teacher who has never heard of ‘differentiation’. Exhortations to differentiate are ubiquitous in schools and from school leaders...

August 2, 2018
Spotlight on research

Spotlight on Research – getting to grips with what’s available

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EEF findings last year suggested that teachers need “structured and intensive support” to engage with new research if outcomes are to improve, and the Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training also recommended that new teachers should be inducted in where and how to access relevant research in order to help instil an evidence-based approach to teaching...

June 20, 2018
Not an assessment

But that is NOT AN ASSESSMENT!

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By Professor Rob Coe, Director, CEM

It has become common, although I still find it surprising, to hear teachers use the word ‘data’ as if it were a bad thing.

‘Data drops’ have come to epitomise a pointless exercise in collecting meaningless numbers and feeding them into a system that can have no possible benefit for learners. People even say that Ofsted is ‘too reliant on data’, as if a judgement process could - or should – rely on anything other than data...

April 26, 2018
How schools can engage

How schools can engage with research and evidence

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By Dr Deborah M. Netolicky

It makes sense that the most effective teaching methods are used in classrooms, and that the most effective leadership governance practices are used in schools, but how do educators decide on what evidence on which they should rely, to whom they should listen, and how they might engage meaningfully with research findings? How do we know what research is worth listening to, what is worth ignoring, and what has been debunked?

In my last post for the CEM Blog, I explored the dangers of educators accepting seemingly simple solutions to the complex problems of education. In this post I suggest five ways in which teachers, schools, and systems can meaningfully engage in research...

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

Evidence-based education: expectations, barriers and pitfalls

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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...

March 20, 2018
Evidence-Based Practice

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

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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 8, 2018
Translating Evidence into Improvement

Translating Evidence into Improvement: why is it so hard?

Podcast Duration: Approx 24mins

Amongst a range of speakers focussing on what works, what doesn’t, with examples of good practice from across the North East schools community, CEM Director and Professor of Education, Rob Coe, discussed some of the issues around using evidence to improve outcomes.

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? ...

October 25, 2017

6 Tactics to help a child work on set tasks

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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...