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News Reactions

12, July, 2017
by cathyfarmer

20 years of social mobility research – Sutton Trust summit

Expert reaction to Sutton Trust summit findings on social mobility over time.  Comment from Professor Alice Sullivan, Professor of Sociology, UCL Institute of Education: “If we are to promote social mobility, we know that improving educational attainment for working class pupils is fundamentally important, and the best way to do this is to get excellent teachers into the schools […]

22, June, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Less privileged teenagers & university expectations – expert reaction

Early intervention to maintain and raise expectations could increase the number of teenagers from less privileged backgrounds entering higher education, a new study published in the Oxford Review of Education suggests.  The full press release can be read here.  Expert reaction from Claire Callender, Professor of Higher Education, UCL Institute of Education and Birbeck: “This excellent paper once […]

21, June, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Queen’s Speech 2017 – technical education plans – expert reaction

The Queen has set out the Government’s intentions for the new parliament. This includes plans for technical education. The Queen announced, “My government will continue to work to ensure that every child has the opportunity to attend a good school and that all schools are fairly funded. My ministers will work to ensure people have the […]

29, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

#GE2017 election manifestos – Sir David Bell on HE & Brexit

Senior academics and leading experts in their field will gave their perspectives on the main education issues in the General Election campaign and challenges for the next Government. Comment from Sir David Bell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading, former Chief Inspector of Schools and Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education. Sir David […]

29, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

#GE2017 election manifestos – Prof Alice Sullivan & grammar schools

Senior academics and leading experts in their field gave their perspectives on the main education issues in the General Election campaign and challenges for the next Government. Comment from Professor Alice Sullivan, Professor of Sociology, UCL Institute of Education: “The Conservative manifesto … says that reintroducing grammar schools is part of a drive to turn Britain into what they call ‘The worlds great meritocracy.’ […]

29, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

#GE2017 election manifestos – Prof Becky Francis & Sir David Bell on universities sponsoring schools

Senior academics and leading experts in their field gave their perspectives on the main education issues in the General Election campaign and challenges for the next Government. One focus in the Conservative manifesto is for more universities to sponsor schools. Comment from Professor Becky Francis, Director of the UCL Institute of Education who annually researches […]

29, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

#GE2017 – EDUCATION MATTERS – funding – comments from Luke Sibieta

SCHOOL SPENDING & EARLY YEAR FUNDING Senior academics and leading experts in their field gave their perspectives on the main education issues in the General Election campaign and challenges for the next Government. Comment from Luke Sibieta, programme director in the education, evaluation and employment sector at the Institute for Fiscal Studies on what the evidence say on the […]

29, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

#GE2017 election manifestos – FE & 16-18 year olds – Prof Martin Doel comments

UNDERINVESTMENT IN THE FE SECTOR, 16-18 YEAR OLDS, ADULT EDUCATION, SCHOOL FUNDING OF 16-18 YEARS & TEACHING APPRENTICESHIPS Senior academics and leading experts in their field gave their perspectives on the main education issues in the General Election campaign and challenges for the next Government. Comment from Professor Martin Doel, FETL Professor of Leadership in Further Education and Skills at […]

29, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

#GE2017 election manifestos – teacher retention & recruitment

Comment from Professor Alice Sullivan, Professor of Sociology, UCL Institute of Education: “We know from the research evidence that it matters far more that (pupils) have high quality teachers than what kind of structure of school they go to. If you want to help disadvantaged children you would try to get good teachers into those schools that […]

25, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Free school breakfasts – Conservative manifesto pledge ‘undercosted’ – expert comment

The Conservatives have pledged if elected they would introduce an offer of a free school breakfast for every child in every year of primary school. They estimate this will cost £60 million.  Education Datalab have looked at this figure and found that it looks ‘very optimistic.’ Speaking at an EMC press briefing on the various education pledges […]

18, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Conservative manifesto – schools in the north & Ofsted grades

Expert analysis of the following section from the Conservative manifesto in relation to schools in the north of England. Comment from Professor Stephen Gorard, Durham University, who has researched schools in the north of England: “This is a misunderstanding based on assuming that OFSTED grades and attainment are independent of pupil intakes. They are not. […]

18, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Conservative manifesto – childcare, FSM, free schools

Reaction to the Conservative manifesto. Comment from Naomi Eisenstadt, expert in early years policy and Honorary Research Fellow at Oxford’s Families, Effective Learning & Literacy: “The most important comment is that childcare and early years are completely absent from the section on education. It promises nothing more on workforce, quality or wages. The capital fund […]

18, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Conservative manifesto – technical education

Comment from Professor John Holford, Robert Peers Chair in Adult Education, University of Nottingham: “World-class technical education or World-class turmoil? The Conservative manifesto says: “We want British technical education to be as prestigious as our world leading higher education system, and for technical education in this country to rival the best technical systems in the world.” “We […]

18, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Conservative manifesto education pledges – funding, FSM & grammar schools – expert analysis

Expert reaction on the Conservative manifesto education pledges Comment from Professor Stephen Gorard, Durham University: “As with those of the other major parties, the Conservative election manifesto for education is a mixed bag. For example, the commitment to fairer funding for schools overcoming decades of historical under-funding in some regions (but with protection for other areas […]

16, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Labour Party manifesto – education pledges – childcare

Expert reaction to the Labour Party manifesto election pledge of overhauling the existing childcare system and extending the current 30 hours free childcare to all two year olds. Comment from Sandra Mathers, senior researcher Department of Education, University of Oxford. Sandra is part of the Families, Effective Learning and Literacy (FELL) research group. Her main research […]

11, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Labour Party education pledges – tuition fees & early years

A draft of Labour’s general election manifesto has been leaked, including plans to scrap tuition fees. Expert analysis of the possible Labour Party pledge on university tuition fees from Professor Anna Vignoles, Faculty of Education and Jesus College, University of Cambridge: “University tuition fees were introduced for two main reasons. First, when the state paid, university […]

10, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Labour Party election pledges announced, experts give their reactions

The Labour Party have announced what it would plan for education if elected on 8th June. The key pledges include: stop the cuts to school budgets with a real terms increase in funding reduce class sizes to under 30 for all five, six and seven year olds free school meals for all primary school children […]

2, May, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Primary SATs tests – what prepares children best – expert reaction

The latest report from the Education Select Committee scrutinised Government reforms to primary assessment and their impact on teaching and learning in primary schools, as well as investigating the debates over the benefits and drawbacks of testing at primary school. The report is published a week ahead of children around the country taking SATs in English and […]

31, March, 2017
by cathyfarmer

SATS for seven year olds scrapped

Expert reaction to the proposal to scrap testing for seven year olds as announced by the Government. Comment from Michael Coldwell, Director, Centre for Education and Inclusion Research, Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University: “There is of course evidence going back many years of increased pressure on pupils and schools related to the increased amount […]

28, March, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Autism Awareness Week – the ‘Rights Approach’

To coincide with National Autism Awareness Week here are several comments from academics who specialise in researching autism. They were asked what one thing would they like to change in schools to help children who are autistic: Nick Hodge, Professor of Inclusive Practice, Sheffield Hallam University: ‘The Rights Approach for Autism’ “The world of Autism is […]

22, March, 2017
by cathyfarmer

NUT/ATL merger ‘international significance,’ expert says

Teachers in the NUT and ATL union have voted to merge to form a new union for education workers which will be known as the National Education Union.  Expert reaction from Professor Howard Stevenson, Director of Research, School of Education, University of Nottingham: “The amalgamation of NUT and ATL is a development of international significance. In many […]

7, March, 2017
by cathyfarmer

School buildings & free schools – Budget announcements

Comment on the proposed announcements on the building of free schools and refurbishing of existing buildings from Dr Pam Woolner, Newcastle University, who is an expert in the relationship between school buildings and learning: “There is good evidence of benefits of renewal of school space (rebuilding and refurbishing), but these are mainly not direct effects […]

22, February, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Times tables check – what happens to children who don’t pass the test?

Schools Minister Nick Gibb has spoken about primary school pupils sitting a times table check from next year. He said how being able to multiply was a ‘very important’ part of a child’s maths knowledge. He went on to say that if a youngster is trying to perform long multiplication or long division they need […]

21, February, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Teacher supply – ‘school support & government investment crucial’ experts comment

The Education Select Committee has published its latest report into the problem of recruiting and retaining teachers.  The committee concluded that the government is failing to take adequate measures to tackle “significant teacher shortages” in England.  Joint comment from Dr Emily Perry and Dr Bronwen Maxwell, Centre for Development and Research in Education, Sheffield Institute of Education at […]

10, February, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Teaching assistants & effectiveness, expert reaction to ATL survey

Expert reaction to the findings of the ATL survey on support staff increasingly having to teach lessons. Comment from Rob Webster, Director, Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants project, Co-Director, SEN in Secondary Education study, UCL-Institute of Education: “The survey results suggest TAs, cover supervisors and other support staff are being deployed to backfill teaching […]

7, February, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Science practicals – why they are important to GCSE students

More than quarter of GCSE pupils take little or no part in science practicals, according to a Wellcome Trust report. The survey reveals many GCSE science students are not offered regular, hands-on practical lessons. The report found that only 36% of GCSE students from disadvantaged areas did practical science at least once a month compared […]

6, February, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Government announces sale of the student loan debt

The government has started the process of selling more student loan debt to the private financial sector. It has announced that loans made to students in England between 2002 and 2006 will be put up for sale – to be followed by other pre-2012 loans – with the aim of raising £12bn. Expert comment from Nicholas […]

2, February, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Latest HESA data on state school pupils and university

The Higher Eduction Statistics Authority have release its latest summary of university widening participation. The statistics focus on participation rates among those from underrepresented backgrounds and those in receipt of disabled students’ allowance. Details of the report can be seen here.  Expert reaction from Professor Anna Vignoles, University of Cambridge: “The latest HESA figures are reassuring […]

31, January, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Apprenticeships – ‘quantity for quality’ – expert reaction to latest IFS findings

The government is committed to creating 3 million apprenticeships over five years from 2015 to 2020. From April 2017 an apprenticeship levy will be introduced which will see a tax of 0.5% on employers’ payroll above £3million per year. But an IFS report says that the rapid increase in the number of apprenticeships could turn […]

31, January, 2017
by cathyfarmer

“Monitoring activity more closely in school will help us to design better interventions to improve personal activity,” says expert

Baroness Grey-Thompson will be launching the Healthy Active School System, an online ‘measurement tool’ developed by ‘Fit for Sport’ a UK based charity which will allow schools to track, monitor and evaluate pupil physical activity levels.  Comment from Mark Hamer, Professor in Exercise as Medicine, National Centre for Sport & Exercise Medicine, Loughborough University: “This […]

30, January, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Does missing one week of school lead to lower grades?

Tomorrow the Supreme Court will consider the appeal of the Isle of Wight Council over the case of a father, Jon Platt, who successfully challenged a conviction for taking his child on an unauthorised holiday during term time. Below is an explanatory note about term-time absence from Stephen Gorard, Professor of Education, Durham University who […]

26, January, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Mandarin teachers & visa regulations – expert reaction

The Migration Advisory Committee has published a report on the recruitment and supply of teachers to the UK outside of the EU. Comment from Katharine Carruthers, Director, Confucius Institute, UCL-Insititue of Education on the findings in regard to Mandarin teachers: “Teachers applying for the Mandarin PGCE from China can face visa delays. Often the problem […]

24, January, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Skills, technical & vocational education – government announces Industrial Strategy

The government has announced its Industrial Strategy promising to regenerate technical training and to tackle the skills shortage. They are proposing to ‘build a proper system of technical education, boosting key skills in science, technology, engineering, maths and digital proficiency, to ensure people have the skills employers need now and in the future.’ Comment from […]

22, January, 2017
by cathyfarmer

School league tables – academic analysis of what Progress 8 means

A background comment & for guidance from Nick Marshall, post-graduate researcher, Sheffield Hallam University, who has researched school league tables and explains what the Progress 8 score means in relation to the data published: “Progress 8 needs to be treated with caution as it is only one measure amongst many that is used to judge […]

10, January, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Child mental health – incidence & persistence – Millennium Cohort Study findings

The government has announced various reforms as part of its strategy to help children who experience mental health difficulties.  The comment below provides background to the numbers and ages of children experiencing mental health problems in the context of the Millennium Cohort Study conducted by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the UCL-Institute of Education.  Comment […]

10, January, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Higher Education & Research Bill – peers vote on amendment – expert explanation

During a House of Lords committee stage hearing peers voted by 248 to 221, majority 27, in favour of an opposition amendment to the Higher Education and Research Bill, demanding that universities remain “autonomous” bodies and free to criticise the Government. It also specified universities “must provide an extensive range of high-quality academic subjects delivered by excellent teaching”, as […]

9, January, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Child and teenage mental health reforms – importance of teacher training

Expert comment from Professor Samantha Twiselton, Director of Sheffield Institute of Education (SIoE), who was a member of the expert advisory panel supporting the Carter Review of initial teacher training (ITT) which made these recommendations: “Child and adolescent development – ITT should provide new teachers with a grounding in child and adolescent development, including emotional […]

9, January, 2017
by cathyfarmer

Meeting children’s mental health needs in school

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced reforms to help children who experience mental health difficulties. The proposals include mental health first aid training for secondary schools  which will teach people how to identify symptoms.  Expert analysis from Vivian Hill, Programme Director DEdPsy UCL Institute of Education and Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Educational […]

15, December, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Latest primary league tables & KS2 SATs results

The government has published the latest primary school league tables based on the KS2 SATs tests sat by ten and eleven year olds in the summer of 2016. These were the first tests under the new curriculum and assessment measures. Here expert from Sheffield Hallam University give their reactions: Comment from Professor Samantha Twiselton, Director […]

8, December, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Sure Start centre closures – why they are important

The number of Sure Start children’s centres closing has increased every year since 2010 with 156 shutting in 2015, almost double the number recorded the previous year. Since 2010 the figure has gone up each year. A leading team of experts based at the University of Oxford Department of Education conducted a five year study on the […]

6, December, 2016
by cathyfarmer

PISA results – “no evidence that selective systems are any better” – expert reaction

Expert reaction from Professor Stephen Gorard, School of Education, Durham University on importance of selective systems: “Despite best intentions, this ‘international horse race’ is imperfect but again it is clear that: The results for OECD countries with explicit early selection of students, such as Germany and Austria, are not among the very highest performers. They […]

6, December, 2016
by cathyfarmer

PISA results 2015 – maths results unchanged – analysis from leading expert

Comment from Anne Watson, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Oxford: “It seems as if policy and resource intervention by governments either has little effect or, at best, prevents decline of achievement over time. Put together with the TIMSS results however, which have shown decline in performance between years 5 and 9, the PISA […]

6, December, 2016
by cathyfarmer

PISA results 2015 – Singapore tops the latest global survey & UK students trail behind

Expert reaction to the latest PISA results which continue to show UK teenagers are trailing behind other leading countries in education and have made little progress in international rankings since previous results at the end of 2013. The UK report can be seen here. The full press release with links to the report and speech […]

1, December, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Brexit and schools – expert comment

Sir Michael Wilshaw has spoken of the “resentment” of some poorer communities over the North-South education divide and the connection with those who voted for Brexit. The Chief Inspector said, “They sense that somehow their children are not going to get as great a deal as youngsters in London and the South of England. If […]

1, December, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Ofsted Annual Report 2016 – regional inequalities explained

Sir Michael Wilshaw has delivered his last Annual Report. More details of the contents of the report can be seen here and here.  Comment from Professor Samantha Twiselton, Director of Sheffield Institute of Education: “Today’s Annual Report for OFSTED very much confirms some of our own work here at the Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield […]

29, November, 2016
by cathyfarmer

TIMSS – primary schools in Northern Ireland continue to rank among the best in the world in maths – NFER research

A major international survey of pupil achievement in mathematics and science shows that pupils aged 9 -10 in Northern Ireland continue to perform very well in maths. The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) carried out the research for the Department of Education. Achievement in science was found to be not as high, but is […]

29, November, 2016
by cathyfarmer

TIMSS 2015 – analysis & why the results are important

The latest Trends in Maths and Science Survey (TIMSS) has been published. Comment from Toby Greany, Professor of Leadership and Innovation at the Institute of Education: “The story of England’s performance in TIMSS over the last 20 years is one of improvement in maths, albeit from a low base, improvement in year 5 science and consistency in […]

22, November, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Modern foreign language teaching – what the evidence has found

The Teaching Schools Council has published their latest report into modern foreign language teaching.  Expert reaction on the teaching of modern foreign languages from Caroline Conlon, lecturer in Languages in Education for the PGCE Languages course at the UCL Institute of Education, London: “The London Providers’ is the name given to the Greater London university […]

17, November, 2016
by FranAbrams

Major study finds poor literacy and numeracy among prisoners

Prisoners in England have much lower levels of literacy and numeracy than the general population, according to research published this week in the London Review of Education. The study, the first like-for-like comparison between the skills of inmates and those of all adults, found the gap much wider in literacy skills than in numeracy. Brian Creese, joint head of […]

20, October, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Primary assessment changes – no year 7 re-sits. Expert reactions to government announcement

The government has announced various changes to assessments in primary schools including dropping the plan for children to re-sit their KS2 national curriculum SATs tests in year 7. Comment from Anne Watson, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Oxford:  “I welcome the announcement about removing the threat of resits in year . In mathematics, […]

18, October, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Callaghan’s ‘great debate’ on education forty years on

Its forty years ago today since Prime Minister Jim Callaghan gave his speech at Ruskin College which many feel was the start of a ‘great debate’ launching significant changes to UK education. His speech put the idea of a national curriculum high on the agenda. Callaghan’s speech described how the education system had in the […]

9, September, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Grammar schools expansion & selection – experts give their reaction to the government’s announcements

The prime minister Theresa May has set out plans for all schools in England to be given the right to apply to select pupils by ability, under plans also allowing grammar schools to expand. Under the proposal, schools will become selective and new and expanding grammars will take quotas of poor pupils or help run […]

26, August, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Expert reaction to this summer’s exam results

Comment from Dr Tina Isaacs, Senior Lecturer in Education (Assessment and Evaluation) at the University College London Institute of Education, on this year’ s A level results: “2016 is set to be the last quiet year for GCSEs and A levels results — the exams are still stable and none of the major changes has […]

25, July, 2016
by cathyfarmer

University tuition fees increase – impact on HE participation

The Government has announced that university tuition fees in England will rise to £9,250 per year from 2017. The plan will link higher fees to better teaching. Expert reaction from Professor Anna Vignoles, University of Cambridge: “So far the tuition fee increases that we have seen have not resulted in lower rates of higher education participation, not […]

7, July, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Careers advice – Commons Sub Committee report findings – expert reaction

Expert reaction to the report published by the Commons Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy which found careers advice in many English schools to be inadequate, adding towards a skills shortage and having a negative impact on the country’s productivity.  Comment from Dr Siobhan Neary, Acting Head of International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) […]

6, July, 2016
by cathyfarmer

2016 KS2 SATs results – experts give their reactions to maths & SPaG

The provisional results have been published for the KS2 SATs tests. This year pupils sat new tests in maths, writing and spelling, punctuation and grammar. They show that the majority of children have achieved the new higher standard expected of them. Test results from previous years were under an entirely different system of assessment. The […]

8, June, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Child mental health – ten year delay before help, expert reactions

Children and young people with mental health difficulties go an average of ten years between first becoming unwell and first getting any help, according to an evidence review published today by Centre for Mental Health. Missed Opportunities, by Lorraine Khan, reviews recent evidence about the mental health of children and young people in the UK. […]

2, June, 2016
by cathyfarmer

EU pupils attainment – “high regard for education & great respect for teachers,” experts comment

In a new report, education data analysts, School Dash, have looked at the figures relating to the academic performance of white non-British, non-Irish school children. They conclude that schools with large numbers of immigrant children from the EU perform better than the counterparts. We have asked several academics who have extensively researched the performance of […]

6, May, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Academies – government plans no longer compulsory. Expert reactions

The government has announced changes to its plans for every school to become an academy. NEW expert reaction to academy u-turn from Professor Stephen Gorard, School of Education, Durham University: “This is welcome but not very surprising given the level of opposition, the lack of evidence that academies are any better than the schools they […]

13, April, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Scottish school closures – the importance of school buildings & student outcomes

Following on from the closure of 17 schools in Edinburgh over building safety, Dr Pam Woolner, Newcastle University, explains what her research has found about the relationship between school buildings and learning: “Essentially, there is reasonably consistent evidence demonstrating a positive relationship between school building quality and student outcomes, including attainment. On average, good buildings […]

25, March, 2016
by cathyfarmer

SATs: to test, or not to test

Over the Easter weekend the various teaching unions have their annual conferences.  The NUT, in particular, has several resolutions based on the current tests in primary schools. The union has said that the ‘testing culture’ is damaging children, and labelling them ‘successful’ or ‘failing’ is making it harder to motivate and educate pupils. The government […]

18, March, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Is this the end of state education? Academics give their reaction to the changes to come

This week the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced in the Budget that all schools in England will become academies by 2020 or have plans to do so by 2022. He also announced that schools will be able to extend the school day. The education secretary, Nicky Morgan, outlined further changes in a white paper which would […]

8, March, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Is free childcare effective? NAO report says it is not yet value for money

The National Audit Office has published a report which says significant progress has been made in providing 15 hours of free childcare to parents of 3- and 4-year olds, but the Department of Education has not yet achieved full value for money.  Naomi Eisenstadt, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Oxford, and recently Scotland’s independent advisor […]

15, February, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Tackling the challenge of low-performing students

Steve Higgins, Professor of Education, Durham University, comments on the latest OECD report, Low-Performing Students. Professor Higgins is one of the authors of the Sutton Trust/EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit.  “The Sutton Trust-Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) funded Teaching and Learning Toolkit, is maintained and developed by a team of researchers at Durham University. It is an […]

15, February, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Disadvantaged students, maths & secondary transition

The OECD have produced further analysis of the latest PISA survey. The report, Low Performing Students: why they fall behind and how to help them succeed, shows that few countries have seen disadvantaged 15 year olds improve their basic skills of reading and maths.  Emeritus Professor Anne Watson, has done extensive research into the teaching […]

9, February, 2016
by cathyfarmer

Free schools – evaluation difficult as too early, expert comment

The government has announced a further 22 free schools which will provide 18,000 more pupil places. Two of the new free schools will specialise in computer science, technology and the arts, and will be run by the Aspirations Academy Trust founded by the videogame businessman, Ian Livingstone.  An advisory group of experienced property specialists has […]

22, January, 2016
by cathyfarmer

The role of Regional Schools Commissioners – expert reaction to Education Select Committee report

Following their inquiry, the Education Select Committee have published a report into ‘The role of Regional Schools Commissioners.’ Regional Schools Commissioners, first appointed in 2014, are responsible for overseeing academies, approving new free schools and those under-performing local authority schools converting to academy status. The Committee has looked at issues around expanding the role of […]

13, January, 2016
by cathyfarmer

‘Inequality in Education’ new Social Market Foundation report – expert warns caution.

Where children grow up in England is more likely to determine success or failure at school than in previous generations, a study suggests. The Social Market Foundation research examined test results of cohorts born in 1970 and 2000 and found regional differences have become much greater. Pupils’ results are highest in London and lowest in Yorkshire and […]

6, January, 2016
by cathyfarmer

What’s the evidence on…single-sex schools

The head of an independent co-educational school has said that girls educated at a single-sex school are at a huge disadvantage. Richard Cairns, head of Brighton College, writing in the magazine, Independent School Parent, said,  “After all, if girls do not learn to socialise with boys as children, what happens when they go out into the […]

16, December, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Supply of teachers examined in Education Select Committee inquiry

The Education Select Committee held a one-off session hearing evidence on the issue of teacher recruitment and retention. The Committee listened to the evidence on three points: Whether there is a ‘crisis’ in the recruitment and retention of teachers, including at senior levels of the profession, at a regional level, and by subject, and how […]

16, December, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Ofqual consultation on marking reviews & exam appeals – expert reaction

Last summer more than 90,000 GCSE and A-level results were changed, following challenges to the grades given. Official figures show this was the highest on record and a jump of 17% compared to the previous year.  Ofqual, the body which regulates exams, said that there were more than 572,000 queries over grades. As a result, […]

16, December, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Further education colleges are facing a financial ‘perfect storm’ says expert

The Public Accounts Committee has warned that continued cuts to further education colleges has  “potentially serious consequences for learners and local economies”. In their report, the Committee calls for more rapid intervention when colleges face financial difficulties. It says the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the Skills Funding Agency “are not doing enough to help colleges […]

2, December, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Ofsted Annual Report 2015 – expert reaction

Ofsted has published its fourth annual report in which it warned of a north-south divide in England’s secondary schools.  Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw said, “We’ve seen a significant difference in the quality of teaching between the South and the Midlands and the North, a significant difference in terms of the quality of leadership… and […]

2, December, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Religious Education GCSE + non-religious world views explained

The High Court has rule that the Education Secretary has made “an error of law” when she left “non-religious world views” out of the new religious GCSE. The case was bought by three families and backed by the British Humanist Association, who claimed that the new approach was failing to reflect the pluralistic nature of […]

2, December, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Autumn Statement 2015 – school funding changes explained

The Chancellor, George Osbourne, has announced changes to the way schools are funded in the latest government spending plans. The introduction of a national funding formula in England would close the gaps between areas and prevent disadvantaged pupils losing out. A consultation could happen as early as 2016, and changes to the system in 2017-18. […]

24, November, 2015
by cathyfarmer

The future of teacher recruitment & training

The Dfe have published the latest provisional recruitment to initial teacher training programmes in England in the academic year 2015 to 2016. In response to a potential crisis in teacher recruitment and retention, a conference held at the University of Oxford yesterday explored strategies for developing a long term, stable, and world-class model of Initial […]

11, November, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Ethnic minorities more likely to go to university than their white British peers.

Expert reaction to the latest IFS Observation report into why ethnic minorities are substantially more likely to go to university than their white British peers. The report findings can be seen here. Dr Claire Crawford, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick, and one of the authors of the report, said: “The differences […]

6, November, 2015
by cathyfarmer

ICT GCSE & A level will not be redeveloped, ministers decide. Expert reaction

The government has announced the latest changes to GCSE and A level exams. The consultations  are part of the continuing ‘drive to raise standards and ensure all young people reach their potential.’ In September 2014, a new computing curriculum was introduced. This was drafted by teachers and experts from the British Computer Society, the Royal […]

6, November, 2015
by cathyfarmer

State school pupils do better at university, Cambridge Assessment research confirms

Research by Cambridge Assessment – a department of the University of Cambridge – today confirms that state school pupils are likely to do better at university than independent school pupils with similar A Level results. Researchers Carmen Vidal Rodeiro and Nadir Zanini were investigating how effective the A* grade at A Level is as a […]

28, October, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Quality of apprenticeships – what works best. Expert reaction to Ofsted report

Expert reaction to the latest Ofsted report on the quality of apprenticeships from Bill Lucas, Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning and Professor of Learning at the University of Winchester: “Sir Michael Wilshaw is absolutely right to insist on quality in apprenticeships, on the need for more higher-level apprentices and on the inadequate state […]

28, October, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Ofsted monthly commentary – the challenges of primary to secondary transition. What the research evidence has found.

Primary schools in England are doing well, according to Sir Michael Wilshaw. In his first monthly commentary the Ofsted Chief Inspector said that children are leaving primary school with a good level of reading and writing and a standard in maths which will set them up for transfer to secondary school. But this is not ‘built […]

21, October, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Ofsted accountability & New Schools Network report – expert reaction

The New Schools Network, an independent charity set up to help advise and support the setting up of free schools, has published a report in which it “casts doubt over the accuracy of Ofsted judgements.” They say that more than a third of primary schools rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted, fail to make […]

21, October, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Long summer break & the effect on learning

The Local Government Association is calling for “a common sense approach” to parents when taking their children out of school to go on holiday. Parents who take their children on holiday during term time can be fined £60 unless they have the permission of the headteacher. But what are the effects of children having longer […]

14, October, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Under 16 work experience, what works? Expert reaction to BCC call to reinstate work placements

Until it was scrapped in 2012, work experience for pupils under 16 was compulsory. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which represents business leaders, is calling for the reinstatement of work experience placements. In a new survey of 3,000 bosses, 82% said all pupils under 16 should be offered the experience as it helps teenagers […]

7, October, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Does fining parents reduce truancy? Expert reaction to government proposal

Parents of children who skip school are currently fined £60 in England. This doubles after 21 days to £120. The Prime Minister has warned that for those parents who don’t pay risk the penalty fine being docked from their child benefit. “All the evidence is that if children consistently miss school, they get a worse […]

1, October, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Faith school admissions – expert reaction to British Humanist Association report

All schools have an admissions criteria to decide which children get places. Faith schools, those linked to a particular religion, set their admissions criteria according to faith but have to comply with the School Admissions Code. The British Humanist Association, a charity working on the behalf of non-religious people, has found that many children are […]

29, September, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Does living by the sea affect a child’s education?

Poole, the Dorset town on the south coast of England, offers beautiful beaches and a natural harbour. But Ofsted have found pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds have the worst educational outcomes in the country. Ofsted have published inspection results of Poole Borough Council’s arrangements for improving the performance in its schools. The aim of […]

8, September, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Summer-born children – what age is best to start school?

In a debate in the House of Commons last night, School’s Minister, Nick Gibb, raised concerns about “the number of cases in which it appears children are being admitted to year 1 against their parents’ wishes and are, as a consequence, missing out on their reception year at school.” The Minister said there would be […]

30, July, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Student loans – “Far reaching negative effects on students,” says expert

The Independent Commission on Fees has published its final report which looks at trends in applications for higher education. The Commission urges the Office for Budget Responsibility to investigate the current student loans scheme. The report also shows how significant numbers of sixth formers are concerned about the cost of going on to higher education; […]

23, July, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Expert reaction to genetics and GCSE achievement as published in Scientific Reports*

Press release via King’s College London: Many of the same genes may affect GCSE results across a broad range of subjects according to a new study from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London. The research, published today in Scientific Reports, also suggests that educational achievement at GCSE is highly heritable, […]

21, July, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Student finance Budget proposals – the effects on poor students

The IFS have published a new briefing note which examines the two major changes to student finance as proposed in the Budget. The replacement of maintenance grants by loans from 2016–17 will raise debt for the poorest students, but do little to improve government finances in the long run. The proposed freezing of the repayment […]

14, July, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Ofsted early years report 2015 – the benefits of pre-school for disadvantaged children

Ofsted has published its latest report into early years education. It recommends for more parents of two year olds to take up the offer of free childcare, particularly those that come from a disadvantaged background. Comment from Edward Melhuish, Professor of Human Development, Birkbeck, University of London and Professor of Human Development, Department of Education, […]

9, July, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Budget 2015 – what does an apprenticeship levy mean – experts comment

The government are to create three million apprenticeships. To help finance this, there is to be a levy on large companies. The announcement was made during the Budget by the Chancellor George Osbourne. Expert reaction from Professor Alison Wolf (Baroness Wolf of Dulwich), King’s College London: “English apprenticeships are overwhelmingly low-level and in service sectors […]

9, July, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Budget 2015 – the impact of cutting maintenance grants – experts react

Students of poorer parents can’t rely on “Bank of Mum & Dad”. Academic evidence shows maintenance grants crucial to widening opportunities to study at university For those education correspondents who may be previewing the Chancellor’s budget on Wednesday, two higher education experts comment on research into the impact of potential cuts to maintenance grants. Professor […]

7, July, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Budget 2015 – the impact of potential cuts to maintenance grants, experts comment

Students of poorer parents can’t rely on “Bank of Mum & Dad”. Academic evidence shows maintenance grants are crucial to widening opportunities to study at university. Ahead of the Chancellor’s budget tomorrow (Wednesday 8th July 2015), two higher education experts comment on research into the impact of potential cuts to maintenance grants.  Professor Anne West, […]

1, July, 2015
by cathyfarmer

‘Coasting’ schools – look at pupil context rather than school accountability – expert reaction

Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, has set out a definition of what it thinks a coasting school is.  Hundreds of coasting schools will be targeted for improvement under a new measure which will identify those schools which are failing to push every pupil to reach their potential. These schools, which have been deemed to be ‘coasting’ for […]

18, June, 2015
by cathyfarmer

“Private tutoring may be key to East Asia Maths success,” says maths expert

Following up on the release of new research from UCL Institute of Education and the University of Cambridge (see details in earlier BNR) on the benefits of teaching maths East Asian style, Jeremy Hodgen, Professor or Maths Education at the University of Nottingham, warns against “importing” teaching methods from abroad: “Our research identified several features […]

18, June, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Little to chose between East Asian Maths and “business as usual” – according to Cambridge maths expert

Following on from our earlier Breaking News Reaction about the teaching of Asian style maths here is reaction from maths expert Professor Ken Ruthven, University of Cambridge: “This claim is based on an Education Endowment Foundation evaluation of the teaching of Mathematics Mastery. It is important to note that neither of the distinct large-scale trials […]

18, June, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Asian maths teaching – more schools need to give it a try, says expert

New research has found that introducing a Singaporean ‘mastery’ teaching approach in English schools leads to a relatively small, but welcome, improvement in children’s mathematics skills and offers a potential return on investment, after one year. The research evidence shows that introducing East Asian teaching methods into a western schooling system influences children’s maths performance. […]

3, June, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Education Bill – academies – “real dangers & no clear benefits” – experts comment

Up to 1,000 schools in England, including all those rated inadequate by Ofsted, will be turned into academies, under new laws being put before Parliament today. The Education and Adoption Bill will also scrap the requirement for academy sponsors to consult locally on whether they should take over schools. The aim is to “sweep away […]

17, May, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Note to new government: time to focus on teaching quality, not school structures – that’s the evidence

Research evidence, including some led by Graham Stuart, Conservative MP, challenges the claim on the Marr Show, made by Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan MP, that pupil results showed academies are a better kind of school than local authority ones. In January 2015 in the cross party education select committee published a report into academies and […]

9, April, 2015
by cathyfarmer

“Apprenticeships – put quality before quantity” expert reaction to election education campaign

Commenting on Labour and Conservative messages on apprenticeships in today’s election campaigning Professor Ewart Keep, Director, Centre on Skills, Knowledge & Organisational Performance, Oxford University said: “Politicians of all parties have latched on to apprenticeship as the new ‘miracle cure’ for weaknesses in vocational learning. There are a number of problems with this. First, apprenticeships […]

25, March, 2015
by cathyfarmer

“Funding for second chance education is vanishing,” expert reaction to Association of Colleges report on adult education

New research from the Association of Colleges warns the end of adult education and training by 2020 if government cuts continue. Courses for health, public services and care, and ICT could be hardest hit. Government funding of apprenticeships and supporting maths and English has been given priority over BTEC’s and NVQ’s. Professor Ewart Keep, Director, […]

9, March, 2015
by cathyfarmer

“Free schools fail to serve the neediest” Evidence challenges benefits of free schools.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has pledged a further 500 free schools would be opened in England in the next five years under a Conservative government. This would mean the creation of an extra 270,000 school places in free schools, if re-elected, by 2020. The prime minister says these state-funded, start-up schools are “raising standards and restoring […]

5, March, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Girls behind boys in science – blame culture not genes – research says

Education systems have made major strides to close gender gaps in student performance but girls and boys remain deeply divided in career choices, which are being made much earlier than commonly thought, according to a new OECD report. The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour and Confidence says that gender bias, conscious and […]

28, February, 2015
by suelittlemore

“Lower fees and increased grants could help more go to university” research says

“Lower fees and increased grants could help more go to university” expert research says. Dr Gill Wyness, Lecturer in Economics at UCL Institute of Education says: “What you think of the Labour party’s policy to reduce the fee cap to £6,000 per year depends on whose perspective you take. This policy is bad news for […]

26, February, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Assessment without levels – what makes an effective system – expert reaction

Schools have been told to create their own way of assessing children, after the government scrapped the national system of assessment. Until September 2014, children were assessed as being one of eight levels. Assessments will now need to show a child is performing against the particular curriculum the school is teaching.  A new Commission on […]

24, February, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Are term time holidays damaging? expert interprets Dfe data

“Education Secretary misleads over damage caused by term time holidays”, says Education Professor.​ Research published by the Department for Education fails to show a link between pupil absences from school and their attainment, despite claims by Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan it does. Acording to Stephen Gorard, Professor of Education at Durham University, the minister makes […]

12, February, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Small impact of capping of class sizes, expert comment

If elected in May, the Labour Party plans to improve education by capping class sizes to 30 for pupils aged 5, 6 and 7. Here Rob Coe, Professor in the School of Education at Durham University, gives his expert reaction: “On the face of it, the evidence does support what most people believe: smaller classes […]

2, February, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Climbing PISA tables & raising standards aren’t the same – expert evidence in reaction to new Conservative education targets

The Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, has announced new targets in literacy and numeracy.  “We will expect every pupil by the age of 11 to know their times tables off by heart, to perform long division and complex multiplication and to be able to read a novel,” she said. The Conservatives are also setting a new […]

27, January, 2015
by cathyfarmer

“Focus on teaching quality not school structures” according to academies expert and adviser to MPs

There is no clear evidence to show that “academies raise standards overall”, says a report from the Education Select Committee into England’s school system. The Department of Education must become more open about how academies are run, and give Ofsted full powers to inspect academy chains – says a new report by MPs. Professor Becky Francis, […]

20, January, 2015
by cathyfarmer

Carter Review – what’s the evidence on teacher training?

Sir Andrew Carter’s review into initial teacher training includes amongst his key messages: “We believe it is critical that ITT should teach trainees why engaging with research is important and build an expectation and enthusiasm for teaching as an evidence-based profession.” and commenting on routes into the profession: “Ultimately it is difficult to compare the […]

11, December, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Ofsted 2014 – Standards: does school autonomy make a difference? Here’s some evidence…

Launching Ofsted’s 2014 report, England’s Chief Inspector for Schools, warns secondary school progress has stalled. Sir Michael Wilshaw supports school autonomy but dismisses arguments over school structures – academies vs. local authority – as “sterile”. It’s strong leadership, good pupil behaviour , good teaching and strong governance and oversight which count, according to HMCI. Does […]

4, December, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Postgrad loans may not be drain on public purse – not necessarily so for postgrads

Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, Paul Johnson, gives this analysis of the impact of post graduate loans as set out in the Autumn Statement: “The number of UK students obtaining taught postgraduate qualifications has doubled since 1999. Connoisseurs of the IFS oeuvre will know that we have calculated that one of the features […]

22, November, 2014
by suelittlemore

The myth of grammar schools & social mobility – that`s the evidence from leading academics

THE BELIEF GRAMMAR SCHOOLS HELP SOCIAL MOBILITY IS A MYTH, ACCORDING TO ACADEMIC EXPERTS IN LEADING UNIVERSITIES, BUT SELECTIVE SCHOOLS CAN HARM SOCIAL JUSTICE UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, and some Conservatives , including Teresea May and Boris Johnson, ,who makes a key note speech to an education conference today, have come out in favour of […]

19, November, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Ofsted report – children at risk from sexual exploitation, expert reaction

Ofsted have published a report highlighting the problem of child sexual exploitation, calling for it to be made a priority. The report is an in depth survey of how local authorities deal with child sexual exploitation and highlights how the risks are not understood. The University of Bedfordshire’s International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence […]

18, November, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Improving vocational education – expert reaction to Sir Michael Wilshaw’s speech to the CBI

Today Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw challenged employers to play a greater part in the provision of vocational education in a speech to the CBI East of England Conference. Sir Michael called for a parity of esteem between traditional academic routes and vocational training and said: “We are at a watershed moment in […]

23, October, 2014
by cathyfarmer

New funding will lead to better outcomes for poorer children

Early years providers – schools, nurseries and childminders – will be given up to £300 for every three and four year old from a low income family to help them get a good start in their education, the Government has announced today. Commenting on proposals to extend the pupil premium into the early years of learning, […]

1, October, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Students opt for “local” over “type” when choosing a university, according to research

The Higher Education Funding Council for England, HEFCE,  has published a new report exploring the link between economic growth and higher education provision. The interactive toolkit, which includes detailed data maps, identifies ‘cold spots’ in higher education provision and participation across England. Commenting on Hefce’s data identifying ” HE cold spots”, Professor Anna Vignoles of […]

25, September, 2014
by cathyfarmer

“No pupil has the right to spoil the learning of others” expert reaction to Ofsted report on low level behaviour in the classroom

Ofsted are warning school leaders are ignoring low level disruption in the classroom and as a result this is costing an hour of pupil’s learning time each day. The report identifies the failure  of school leaders in tackling poor behaviour is costing pupils up to an hour of learning each day. Professor Terry Haydn of the […]

10, September, 2014
by cathyfarmer

NEETs – Ofsted’s plans to engage young people in education and skills

Ofsted’s Director for Further Education and Skills, Lorna Fitzjohn, today said more needed to be done to tackle the issue of NEETs (not in education, employment or training). Figures show nearly 1.8 million young people aged 16-24 are not in full time education, training or work. Some are on a gap year, or caring for […]

9, September, 2014
by cathyfarmer

EMC experts react to OECD report “Universities expand but educational mobility lags”

Although universities have expanded in the UK and greater numbers of people are given the chance to study for a degree, the OECD’s Director of Education and Skills, Andreas Schleicher, says levels of educational mobility don’t match. Here academic experts in higher education respond to the OECD’s 2014 report “Education at a Glance”. Nick Barr, […]

5, September, 2014
by suelittlemore

Senior academics challenge Nick Clegg`s “evidence” on free school meals and warn pupils may not benefit from national scheme.

Senior research experts, including two whose work helped shape the Deputy Prime Minister`s free school meals scheme, are challenging Nick Clegg`s claim healthy hot lunches can be better at raising pupils` results than many literacy and numeracy initiatives. Ellen Greaves, a senior researcher at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), and Dr Claire Crawford of […]

17, July, 2014
by cathyfarmer

“Universities should focus on schools not spend money on bursaries” leading academics respond to OFFA report

Leading academic experts in widening access to higher education say universities should help poor students do better at school rather than invest in bursaries. Responding to OFFA’s report on how well universities are doing on improving fair access for disadvantaged students, academics from the LSE, Cambridge University and the Institute of Education say although we […]

16, July, 2014
by cathyfarmer

“Ofsted’s report on Pupil Premium spending doesn’t add up,” says academic

In a report published today, Ofsted say the pupil premium is making a difference in schools. The pupil premium was introduced in 2011 to narrow the gap between the attainment of rich and poor children. Ofsted looked at the findings of 151 schools sampled and found that there were “encouraging signs from inspection that the […]

8, July, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Experts comment on Labour plans for new “Technical Degrees”

Labour leader Ed Miliband has proposed that the next Labour government would introduce “Technical Degrees. ” This would see universities and business working together to put vocational subjects on an equal footing with traditional academic degrees. Speaking at the Higher Ambitions international summit organised by the Sutton Trust, Mr Miliband said, “This is a new […]

25, June, 2014
by cathyfarmer

“Undervalued, undertrained, long hours, get useless feedback, but love the job.” Experts on England results OECD TALIS Teachers’ Survey

Here four leading research experts analyse the findings of the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey 2013 for the Education Media Centre, Professor Chris Husbands, Professor Pamela Sammons, Emeritus Professor Dylan Wiliam and Vivienne Porritt. Department for Education, Teachers in England’s secondary schools: evidence from TALIS 2013, can be found here. Half of teachers in […]

21, June, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Expert evidence supports Ofsted Chief’s stance against grammar schools

Speaking at the Festival of Education, England’s Chief Inspector for Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has said he would not support bringing back more grammar schools , a pledge made by some politicians including UKIP`s Nigel Farage. He told his audience, “I am a passionate believer in local schools for all abilites.” Although Sir Michael emphasised […]

18, June, 2014
by cathyfarmer

What works to raise attainment in poor white pupils? Experts comment…

Poor white boys and girls are underperforming in school. The Education Select Committee report,  Underachievement in Education by White Working Class Children recommends children need schools with high-quality teachers and longer days to allow them to do their homework. Experts comment on what the evidence says to help white working class children succeed. Becky Francis, Professor […]

13, June, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Expert academic & co-author of “Toolkit” warns turning to evidence won’t always help disadvantaged pupils

“Nearly 1 in 4 teachers think pupil premium funds may not be targeted at poorest students,”  according to a new Sutton Trust poll released today. Since April 2011 schools have been receiving funding to help them raise the attainment of their poorest students. In September 2014 the total pupil premium funding will increase to £2.5bn. In primary […]

6, June, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Teacher payment by results is “unconvincing” – academic experts question linking teachers’ pay to pupils results

In a new survey about performance related pay, more than half of teachers support pay being based on pupils’ progress and results. The Sutton Trust poll found that 52% of teachers said that ‘considering the progress and results of pupils they teach’ should be one of the criteria used to decide whether or not to […]

14, May, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Maths experts say primary tests calculator ban is a backwards step

Calculator ban is a “backwards step” with no evidence it will raise maths standards in primary schools, according to leading academics from top universities. A number of leading academic maths experts are warning the ban on calculators in this weeks’ primary maths tests is a backwards step and say there is a wealth of research […]

24, April, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Expert evidence on the funding of higher education and tuition fees

Comment from Claire Crawford, Research Fellow , Institute of Fiscal Studies & Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick comments with further evidence on issues raised in new IFS research, “Government reforms to HE finance currently estimated to save little but long-run impact on public finances is hugely uncertain.” “Student loans result in […]

3, April, 2014
by cathyfarmer

“Two year olds gain from pre school,” expert reaction to Ofsted First Early Years report

Ofsted’s First Early Years report highlights the importance of teaching and learning in pre-school settings. Kathy Sylva , Professor of Educational Psychology at Oxford University & a leading expert on early years education , confirms some of the evidence: 1 Evidence on the value of pre-school attendance for two year olds: “The large scale longitudinal […]

1, April, 2014
by cathyfarmer

PISA Creative Problem Solving – who does best?

Following on from the PISA 2012 Results, the OECD have published “Creative Problem Solving – Students’ skills in tackling real-life problems.” This looks at the ability of 15-year-olds to solve problems that they have never encountered before and for which a routine solution has not been learned. The findings show English students score above the […]

28, March, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Hefce mixes up its figures; but state school pupils still outperform independent pupils at university

Note: There is a correction to the original HEFCE research as highlighted by the Centre for Education & Employment Research, University of Buckingham. Further details about the transposition error and a statement from Hefce can be found here. Commenting on new HEFCE research* into some of the factors behind degree success in higher education, Robin […]

18, March, 2014
by cathyfarmer

IFS says “little evidence of positive impact of public spending on childcare”

EMC expert reaction on childcare – “IFS says little evidence on positive impact of public spending on childcare.” The Institute for Fiscal Studies` Green Budget on plans to increase public spending on childcare for working families : “Despite the apparent consensus, the case for additional spending on childcare has not been made. Public support for […]

13, March, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Biggest reform to SEN in thirty years….

“Parents will have a new right to buy in specialist special educational needs (SEN) and disabled care for children from 2014, the biggest change to SEN for 30 years,” according to the the Dept for Education. The reforms will come in September 2014 and are set out in the Children & Families Bill which receives Royal […]

6, March, 2014
by suelittlemore

“No evidence bursaries retain students at risk of drop out” Office for Fair Access

 OFFA RESEARCH FINDS ‘NO EVIDENCE’ OF POSITIVE EFFECT OF BURSARIES ON STUDENT RETENTION This comment from Claire Callender,Professor of Higher Education at Birkbeck & Institute of Education,  “As  pointed out throughout this report, the data available at the time of analysis was somewhat limited and this meant a number of assumptions on bursary take-up and […]

25, February, 2014
by cathyfarmer

What’s the evidence on Shanghai maths, expert reaction…

As Education Minister, Elizabeth Truss, visits Shanghai to investigate maths teaching, experts give their reactions to this style of teaching. Comment from Professor David Reynolds, University of Southampton: “China and other Pacific Rim countries use a very high proportion of whole class interactive teaching in Maths and the research evidence from the UK is overwhelming […]

9, February, 2014
by suelittlemore

New evidence on getting the best from teaching assistants

Teaching assistants can improve numeracy and literacy when used effectively, according to new research from the Education Endowment Foundation. According to the Foundation, the results of two randomised controlled trials suggest: in literacy when teaching assistants are trained in and stick to a specific and tested programme, they can improve the skills of struggling pupils; […]

31, January, 2014
by suelittlemore

“Loans & grants trump high fees as university applications rise”, says Cambridge Professor

Applications to universities in the UK have risen by 4% compared with this time last year, according to figures released by UCAS. Anna Vignoles, Professor of Education, University of Cambridge comments: “These figures confirm previous research evidence which suggested that higher education fees have not had a major negative impact on applications to university. The […]

28, January, 2014
by cathyfarmer

“Good readers need rich literature but no evidence phonics harms,” academic response to “Phonics damages able readers” pamphlet

Expert reactions on “phonics is damaging able readers,” as published in IMPACT* Following on from today’s media reports, for example on BBC on line, which raised some criticism about the teaching of synthetic phonics. NEW COMMENT – Kathy Sylva, Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Oxford: “The majority of the evidence based studies on synthetic […]

28, January, 2014
by cathyfarmer

What’s the harm in phonics?…experts differ

Expert reactions on the teaching of phonics, as published in IMPACT* Following on from today’s media reports, for example on BBC on line,  which raised some criticism about the teaching of synthetic phonics, Dr David Waugh, Director of Primary PGCE, School of Education, Durham University, commented: “There are probably more myths surrounding the teaching of […]

23, January, 2014
by suelittlemore

“League tables good for school standards” Bristol University research suggests

Commenting on the publication of secondary school league tables in England, Simon Burgess, Director, Centre for Market and Public Organisation and Professor of Economics, University of Bristol said: “Performance tables are an important part of the school accountability system in England. Our research at the Centre for Market and Public Organisation has shown that league […]

15, January, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Academic response to Tristram Hunt’s comments on the importance of teacher quality

Expert comment on speech given by Shadow Education Secretary, Tristram Hunt, at the North of England Education Conference on improving teacher quality and teaching standards. Professor Rob Coe, Director of the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at the University of Durham, is at the NEEC and gave this comment: ” ‘Quality, not structures’ was the […]

15, January, 2014
by cathyfarmer

Improving teacher quality and teaching standards, experts comment on what the research evdience says

Strengthening teacher quality is one of the themes on the opening day of the North of England Conference today. Key note speakers included Shadow Education Secretary, Tristram Hunt MP who spoke of how a Labour government would make it a “priority to have a ‘world class teacher in every classroom’ – a highly qualified, inspiring, […]

13, December, 2013
by suelittlemore

“Academies, reading, teachers` progress, IT underused and evidence ignored” policy expert on challenges from Ofsted report

 “Academies, reading, teachers` progress, IT underused and evidence ignored” Professor Robert Cassen, expert in social policy and social exclusion at the LSE, on some policy challenges emerging from Ofsted`s annual report Academies Addressing the social achievement gap needs many initiatives, including some for school improvement. The mechanisms for doing this are much less clear since […]

11, December, 2013
by suelittlemore

A Royal College of Teaching, roll out “London Challenge” & spread quality teaching. Academics respond to Ofsted.

“Grounds for optimism but serious challenges remain” – Ofsted’s Annual Report 2012/13, was published today. The Education Media Centre asked a number of academic experts to draw on their research to respond. Here is a summary. Longer comments are also available. Becky Francis, Professor of Education and Social Justice, King’s College London has found that […]

11, December, 2013
by cathyfarmer

Expert reaction to Ofsted Annual Report

Academic experts give their response to “Grounds for optimism but serious challenges remain” – Ofsted’s Annual Report 2012/13, published today:  Becky Francis, Professor of Education and Social Justice, King’s College London: “It is very encouraging to see the Ofsted analysis that education is improving across the board. This is of importance to all our young […]

5, December, 2013
by suelittlemore

Chancellor lifts cap on student numbers, but is this affordable ? Expert reaction

Responding to the Chancellor`s announcement of 30 , 000 more student places in higher education and the abolition of the cap on student numbers in 2015 , Professor of Higher Education Policy at Birkbeckand the Institute of Education, University of London, Claire Callender said ” I welcome the increase in student places in our universities, […]

3, December, 2013
by suelittlemore

UK PISA RESULTS POINT TO GCSE GRADE INFLATION SAYS EDUCATION ACADEMIC

COMMENTING ON PISA 2012 RESULTS  PROFESSOR ROBERT COE OF DURHAM UNIVERSITY SAID “There are real issues with comparing different countries with different systems, but whatever the limitations, PISA is the best evidence we have of its type. However, it is interesting that PISA test results for the UK show little difference in maths, English and […]

3, December, 2013
by cathyfarmer

FREE SCHOOLS CONTRIBUTE TO DECLINE IN SWEDISH EDUCATION ACCORDING TO EXPERT – PISA 2012

EXPERT REACTION TO THE PISA 2012 RESULTS THE QUESTION OF THE ROLE OF THE SO-CALLED “FREE SCHOOLS EXPERIMENT” IN THE FALLING POSITION OF SWEDEN IN PISA RESULTS WAS DEBATED IN PARLIAMENT THIS AFTERNOOON. Dr Susanne Wiborg, Head, Lifelong & Comparative Education, Institute of Education, University of London comments on role of free schools in Sweden’s falling position […]

3, December, 2013
by cathyfarmer

Keys to education success – OECD’s Andreas Schleicher & other experts: video reaction – PISA 2012

The Education Media Centre hosted the London publication of the PISA 2012 results – the OECD`s influential comparison of the performance in tests of more than half a million 15 year olds in 65 countries in maths, science and reading. According to the OECD, Asian countries are top: Shanghai, China and Singapore in this latest […]

3, December, 2013
by suelittlemore

Experts urge politicians to avoid “PISA Panic”

The Education Media Centre has collected breaking news reactions to the publication of the PISA 2012 results – the OECD’s influential comparison of the performance in tests of more than half a million 15 year olds in 65 countries in maths, science and reading. According to the OECD, Asian countries are top : Shanghai, China and Singapore in […]

24, November, 2013
by suelittlemore

Find our first breaking news expert reactions here on Monday 2nd December 2013…

SEE BELOW FOR EMBARGO PISA RESULTS WILL SET OFF THE FIRST EMC EXPERT BREAKING NEWS REACTIONS Our first breaking news reactions from education experts will be sent to education journalists by e mail and posted here on Monday the 2nd December 2013 when the EMC hosts the launch of the OECD`s release of the influential PISA […]

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