Working with schools in Southeast Asia to understand what contributes to success in education

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In February and March 2023, CEM’s Dr Irenka Suto, Assistant Director of Assessment & Research, and Suzanne Crocker, Researcher & Assessment Products Integration Manager, travelled to Southeast Asia to deliver workshops to over 200 senior leaders and teachers. These workshops were delivered to 80 schools in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

They provided hands-on opportunities to work together with schools to understand what contributes to success in education. They also put into practice two pieces of research that CEM’s Research & Development team have been working on with colleagues across Cambridge University Press & Assessment: the Cambridge Learner Profile framework and the Cambridge Education Journey.

A holistic approach to educational success

The first part of the workshops presented participants with a holistic view of what educational success looks like. Types of success include achieving qualifications and certificates, and progression to the next level of education, but also high wellbeing, strong life competencies, and more. Participants were asked what different assessments and evaluation they delivered and how they fit together to support holistic education. Irenka then presented the Cambridge Learner Profile framework, which brings together five major areas of teacher insight into educational success:


Schools worked with the framework to understand how this might apply within their schools. They looked at how Cambridge assessments like Cambridge Checkpoint, Cambridge International IGCSEs, Cambridge English qualifications, and the Cambridge Wellbeing Check complement their own assessments such as entrance tests and tutor observations, and also national assessments. Actionable learner profiles can be created by bringing together students’ data from across these different internal and external assessments.

irenka-presenting-new-1(Irenka (standing) presenting at a workshop at Nguyen Sieu School in Vietnam.)

A tactical action plan for educational success

The second half of the workshops involved an in-depth look at the Cambridge Education Journey, a step-by-step roadmap or action plan for educational success, presented by Suzanne. The steps within the Cambridge Education Journey, documented in the image below, offer schools a tool for understanding what learners know, measuring progress, and implementing effective change.

cambridge-education-journey(The Cambridge Education Journey roadmap for educational success.)

Participants then applied the Cambridge Education Journey to their own schools, understanding:

  • what existing data and insights they use to monitor progress
  • where this data sits within the Cambridge Learner Profile framework
  • how they use data to inform teaching
  • what processes are used across departments to ensure consistency.

Overall, the trip was hugely successful as it offered school leaders and teachers an opportunity to put the Cambridge Learner Profile framework and the Cambridge Education Journey into practice in their own schools. Riccardo Eugeni from Springfield School, who attended a workshop in Jakarta, said: ‘There is so much need for data collection and analysis in education to improve students' outcomes and I would like to thank you for spreading that message to as many schools as possible, especially in Asia’. Sarah Chow, Academic Head at Honsbridge International School, attended a workshop in Kuala Lumpur: ‘My very first training with Cambridge! It was an eye-opening experience, and my mind is filled with...information and knowledge. So much to learn!’

irenka-presenting-new-2(Irenka (standing left) and Suzanne (standing right) presenting at a workshop
in St Andrew’s International School in Bangkok, Thailand.)

To find out more about how the Cambridge Learner Profile framework and the Cambridge Education Journey can help put your school on the path to educational success, check out the latest issue of Research Matters or get in touch at