Picture the scene. You’re a headteacher faced with a persistent problem: year 6 boys running in the corridors. You’ve tried everything, and none of it worked. Continue reading
One of the more positive consequences of the darkening clouds of economic downturn for charities such as NFER has been a greater emphasis on impact: understanding it, measuring it, communicating it. In the face of reductions in funding, it becomes ever more important to be able to demonstrate that precious resources are being directed in the best possible way.
Love it or hate it, Twitter is the place to go if you want a good argument. Tristram Hunt seems not to be a fan, criticising in yesterday’s Guardian “Twitter-fuelled orthodoxies of left and right, with both sides displaying decreasing interest in evidence-based policymaking”. One clash last night centred on the merits of a particular teaching intervention Mantle of the Expert. In the blue corner, @andrewolduk led the charge against, with his and his team-mates’ arguments ranging from “it looks mad” through to a more reasoned “where’s the evidence?” And in the red corner, @debrakidd and others understandably rankled against the first of these arguments (perhaps the shadow education secretary has a point). It’s the response to the second argument I’m particularly interested in though: “It worked for me”. Continue reading
“One of the most depressing experiences I’ve had is talking to teachers who describe a research project they have poured their heart and soul into that is methodologically crap”. Continue reading
There’s nothing new under the sun. Secretaries of State of every political hue come to power keen to make their mark, seeking to correct the mistakes of the previous administration. Continue reading
All English state schools will soon have the freedom to decide their own term dates. But would a demise of the traditional long summer break necessarily be a good thing? Besides the impact on sales of suncream and umbrellas, how will it affect pupils and their learning? Continue reading
With George Osborne’s spending review imminent, difficult choices are being made on how to prioritise funding for public services, with the current ring-fencing of school budgets being questioned by the likes of Reform. It has therefore never been more important for spending decisions to be based on solid evidence. With this in mind, NFER has this month produced a special issue of its journal, Educational Research, on Value for Money in Education. Continue reading