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The achievement-wellbeing trade-off in education - report launch and panel discussion

13th November, 10.30 for 11am start, till 12.30pm

The idea that pupil well-being and effective learning go hand in hand is an important tenet of progressive educational theory. Since ‘deep’, genuine learning is supposed to be invigorating and joyful, education that does not live up to these ideals tends to be seen as ineffective and wasteful. Progressive theory has therefore come to highlight the relationship between pupil-led learning, enjoyment, and performance as a virtuous circle. Yet little rigorous evidence has been presented in favour of this assumption. Indeed, the paper presents evidence showing to the contrary that effective learning is often not enjoyable. Rather, several interventions and strategies – such as homework, school competition, and traditional teaching methods – involve an achievement-happiness trade-off.

At this event CfEE lead economist, and report author, Gabriel Heller-Sahlgren and panellists discuss the evidence for and against the progressive theory of the relationship between pupil well-being and achievement; alternative conceptualisations; and whether we might be served by taking the concept of trade-offs between different educational goals more seriously.

Chair: James Croft, CfEE director James Croft

Presenter: Gabriel Heller-Sahlgren, CfEE lead economist and report author

PanelDr Leslie Gutman, Programme Director and Associate Professor of the MSc Behaviour Change, Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, UCL

Jonathan Simons, former Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Varkey Foundation, previously Head of the Education Unit at Policy Exchange think tank

The report was funded, and sponsorship of the event is provided, by Cambridge Assessment.

 

 


 

What works in gifted education? - report launch and panel discussion 

Tuesday 16th October, 6 for 6.30pm till 8pm, with reception following
 
The role of targeted education programmes in stimulating higher achievement among gifted children is a hotly debated topic in education-policy circles. Yet as governments tend to focus on increasing equity and raising achievement among low-performing pupils especially, gifted children are often largely ignored. This seems short-sighted in that we know that high-performing pupils contribute disproportionally to countries’ economic growth.
 
At this event marking the launch of the latest CfEE research in this field, CfEE lead economist, Gabriel Heller Sahlgren and panellists examined the faltering progress of gifted education research towards policy-conclusive answers to the question what works in gifted education; what makes it so difficult to answer; and important new research suggesting ways forward.
 
 
 
The panel was comprised of: 
 
Professor Daniel Muijs, Ofsted Head of Research;
Professor Deborah Eyre, Chief Executive of High Performance Learning, and former Director of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY); and
Professor Tim Oates, CBE, Group Director of Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment.
 
The report was funded, and sponsorship of the event provided, by The Political and Economic Research Trust
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

CfEE Annual Research Digest 2017-18 launch event: evidence from the developing world (Wednesday 19th September, 12-2pm)

“Developing” countries (those below the $12,000 per capita income threshold for rich countries) make up 36 percent of the world economy, but 83 percent of world population, and 87 percent of the world’s school pupils. Identifying and tackling the matrix of factors that contribute to the massive waste of human and social capital implicit in these figures is one of the great reform challenges of our times.

In this year’s CfEE Annual Research Digest, edited by CfEE fellow Lee Crawfurd (strategic advisor to the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change), leading thinkers on global education consider the scale and intractability of the global learning crisis and highlight reform initiatives that have brought benefits. 
 
To download a pdf of CfEE’s Annual Research Digest 2017-18, visit this page of our website.
 
Taking into its purview the state of education provision across developing countries from Asia, to Africa, and South America, the volume offers descriptive analyses; causal studies investigating major large-scale system reforms, including new pedagogical approaches; and looks beyond test scores to look at the causal effects of schools on socialisation and social mobility.

At this launch event, an expert panel discussed these and other issues raised in the commentaries with an invitation-only audience of stakeholders.

View the slides accompanying Lant Pritchett's and Susannah Hares' presentations here.

The event was chaired by Bene't Steinberg , Group Director of Public Affairs, Cambridge Assessment.

Panellists included Lant Pritchett, Professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development; Susannah Hares, Senior Policy Fellow and Global Education Director at the Center for Global Development; Monazza Aslam, Managing Partner at the Oxford Partnership for Education Research & Analysis (OPERA); and Orazio Attanasio, Research Director at the IFS.

The event was kindly sponsored by

 

 

 
 

Business Stay-Up is a research-led campaign to raise awareness of the pressures and challenges business owners face as they seek to survive and scale, and what can be done to increase the probability of success. It is project of the Association of Business Executives (ABE), Centre for Education Economics (CfEE) and The Entrepreneurs Network. For an overview of the aims of the project, read ABE's chief executive in City AMThis event will be a chance to find out more about the project and have your say on the direction of the research. To find out how to attend, please click here.

Event sponsors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Parents: The silent education stakeholder?

Tuesday 22nd May 2018, 7.00pm till 9.30pm

Panel 1: Is education done to you or with you? 

Chaired by Neil McIntosh, President, CfEE. 

Panelists: Mark Lehain, Director, Parents and Teachers for Excellence, Stephen Rollett, Inspections and accountability specialist, Association of School and College Leaders, Michelle Doyle Wildman, Acting CEO, Parentkind, Emma Knights OBE, Chief Executive, National Governance Association. 

Key Note: Parents and accountability 

Amy Finch, Head of strategic development, Ofsted.

Panel 2: Can parent engagement influence outcomes? 

Chaired by Karen Wespieser, Director, CfEE. 

Panellists: Tony McAleavy, Research and consultancy director, Education Development Trust,  Dr Kathy Weston, Parental Engagement Expert, Barnaby LenonChair of the Independent Schools Council, Norman LaRocque, Principal Education Specialist, Asian Development Bank.  

The school reforms of the last three decades aimed to activate parental choice by increasing access to information about school performance. As a result, parents now have more information about schools than ever before through more data in the league tables and qualitative information in Ofsted reports. There is a significant research literature around this aspect of parental engagement, but all too often, once children are on roll parental engagement – and the research literature investigating it – diminishes.

What evidence there is, points to a vital connection between parental participation and the teaching profession in educating the next generation. A recognition of joint responsibility is an essential precursor for defining the roles of teachers and parents. This cannot happen in a vacuum. A pro education culture – in society rather than confined to government – is an absolute essential foundation for high-quality education. This can only be delivered by representatives of the teachers and learners working together
 
Yet, in a time when school accountability is frequently in the headlines in England, the role of parents in holding schools to account is rarely discussed. Whilst Ofsted and high-stakes testing are often seen as the primary accountability measures in the English system, can accountability can be exercised more subtly and more effectively by a clearer view of parents as the key stakeholders of our system?
 
At this event speakers and attendees considered the parent perspective and sought economic understanding of the issues in international perspective.
 
Speakers

Michelle Doyle Wildman joined Parentkind in May 2015 as its Policy and Communications Director and since May 2017 has been acting as the charity’s Acting Chief Executive. She has over 20 years’ experience of leading teams, public affairs and stakeholder engagement; previously holding senior roles at the Environment Agency and South East Water. As a mother of two boys and wife of a teacher, Michelle takes a keen personal interest in our schools. She has spoken widely on how parents can participate positively in education.    

Amy Finch is Head of Strategic Development at Ofsted. Prior to joining Ofsted in 2016, Amy was Head of Education at the Reform thinktank.

Emma Knights OBE is Chief Executive of the National Governance Association (NGA) - the leading charity for guidance, research, advice and training for school governors and trustees. Prior to her appointment in 2010 she was joint CEO of the Daycare Trust. Before that, she worked in a number of roles in the voluntary sector, particularly in the Legal Services Commission, Citizens Advice and the Local Government Association. As well as leading projects on child poverty and educational attainment, Emma has written on a wide range of topics and is co-author of the NGA’s Chair’s Handbook. Emma regularly addresses legislators and the media on governance issues, as well as school governors, trustees, clerks and school leaders. She was a governor at a secondary school in Warwickshire for 7 years and is a founding trustee of the Foundation for Leadership in Education. Emma was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year's Honours list for services to education.

Norman LaRocque is Principal Education Specialist, Asian Development Bank where he specialises in public-private partnerships in education, higher education policy, private higher education, higher education financing and student loans, regulation of education, project design, project processing and implementation. Norman has worked in more than 15 countries in Asia and the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. He has undertaken consulting projects for a range of organisations, including the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, GTZ, the Asian Development Bank and the IBM Center for th Business of Government. Norman joins the event via video-link from Karachi.

Mark Lehain is the Director of Parents and Teachers for Excellence, an organisation which works to improve state education by encouraging schools to adopt high-expectations behaviour cultures, a knowledge-rich curriculum, rigorous examinations and lots of enrichment opportunities for their students. Mark has a wealth of educational experience, having founded one of the first free schools in the country in September 2012. Mark was appointed Interim Director of NSN in March 2018.

Barnaby Lenon was educated at Eltham College and Oxford University. He taught at Sherborne School, Eton for 12 years, was deputy head of Highgate School, head master of Trinity School Croydon and head of Harrow (12 years). He has been a governor of nine schools.  He is chairman of governors of the London Academy of Excellence, a new free school which opened in 2012 in Newham, east London. He is chairman of the Independent Schools’ Council and a board member of Ofqual.

Tony McAleavy is Research and Consultancy Director at the Education Development Trust. Tony is passionate about evidence-informed education and has worked extensively on school reform in many countries – particularly in the Middle East. He plays an instrumental role in developing Education Development Trust's portfolio of work in the UK and worldwide and ensures that Education Development Trust's body of research is relevant and insightful. Tony's road to Education Development Trust took him via an MA in modern history at the University of Oxford and senior school and local authority posts in England.

Neil McIntosh is the former CEO of the CfBT Education Trust, a charity he describes as a ‘social business’, which he led from being a one service EFL provider in two or three countries to become a worldwide provider of education services. He has been at the forefront of significant education policy developments, including the growth of free schools and academies, and was the driving force behind the development of the CfBT Schools Trust multi-academy chain. Prior to joining CfBT, Neil was director of Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, and before that Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), a UK charity providing skilled fieldworkers to developing countries around the world. He is currently chair of The Access Project, an initiative to ensure that young people with high potential but limited means have access to one-to-one tutors to ensure they reach their potential. He is also an Honorary Norham Research Fellow at Oxford University’s Department of Education. Neil was appointed CBE in 2013 for services to education.

Stephen Rollett was appointed ASCL's Inspections and Accountability Specialist in September 2016, supporting members across a range of issues in relation to Ofsted and school accountability. Prior to this role, he was a vice principal in a challenging secondary school which he helped to transform from 'inadequate in all areas' to become one of England's most improved schools in less than two years. Stephen originally trained as a history teacher and his work as a Hampshire 'Leading Teacher' contributed to an Ofsted best practice publication on how to use subject networks to raise standards of teaching and learning. He also has experience of North American education, having worked in partnership with schools in the USA as well as teaching in Canada for a short time.

Karen Wespieser is Director of the Centre for Education Economics. Karen has led research in the education sector for over fifteen years and has extensive knowledge and experience of both qualitative and quantitative research methods. She also works at the National Foundation for Educational Research, volunteers as a school governor, and runs a weekly twitter chat on education research.

Dr Kathryn Weston is one of the leading motivational speakers in the UK today on parenting and parental engagement in children's learning. Initially she trained as a criminologist at Cambridge University before moving into education research. In 2007, she joined the School of Education at the University of Hertfordshire as a research fellow. This is where she developed her great interest in bridging the gap between academic research and real-life parenting. She delivers CPD talks to teachers and talks to parents across the UK. In recent years, Kathy was invited by the Education Select Committee (House of Commons) to chair a panel on parental engagement and by Bloomsbury to write a book for teachers on the topic. She is a regular panellist on BBC radio and writes for the Huffington Post.

Presentations: Dr Kathy Weston | Norman LaRocque | Mark Lehain | Michelle Doyle Wildman | Tony McAleavy

Event sponsors
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

CfEE Panel discussion: What relevance do international assessments have for understanding England's education system?

Tuesday 8th May 2018, 9.30am for 10.00am till 12.00pm
 

ChairCarole Willis, Chief Executive, NFER. PanellistsDr Dirk Hastedt, Executive Director, IEA; Juliet Sizmur, Research Manager, NFER; Dr Christian Bokhove, Associate Professor, University of Southampton, Cath Murray, Features Editor & Head of Digital for SchoolsWeek and FEWeek.

England has been participating in international large scale assessments for over 20 years. The best-known of these – PISA, PIRLS and TIMSS – focus on students’ achievement in reading, mathematics and science, but they are increasingly branching out into other outcome measures as well.

Run by the OECD and the IEA, but funded by national governments, these studies have had a significant influence over education policy in England and overseas. Each time new results are published there is much fanfare and interrogation of global league tables. There is also frequent commentary from detractors of the tests, academics or teachers who are concerned about the methodology or how the results are used.

However, amongst this maelstrom, there is rarely time to step back and consider what we can learn overall about the performance of England’s education system from across the studies. This panel discussion will feature some of the key players in the system including the IEA, academics and policy makers. Together, they will consider what the latest round of findings (from PISA 2015, TIMSS 2015 and PIRLS 2016) can tell us education in England when placed in an international context. 

Presentations:  Dr Dirk Hastedt | Juliet Sizmur | Cath Murray
 
Event sponsored by
NFER
 
 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Panel discussion: Skilling up for a future: prospective policy challenges
Tuesday 7th November 2017
5.45pm for 6.15pm till 8.30pm
 
ChairJames Croft, Principal, Centre for Education Economics (CfEE);

Lead speakerProfessor Ewart Keep, Chair in Education, Training and Skills, Department of Education, University of Oxford

PanellistsMark Dawe, CEO, Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP); Tom Richmond, former senior adviser to the Skills Minister, vocational education and skills; and Gemma Gathercole, Head of Funding and Assessment, Lsect.

At a recent CfEE roundtable, a number of misgivings were expressed by participants about the design of the government’s vocational and technical education reforms. These included concerns about the schools accountability bias in favour of core academic subjects and lack of information and incentives to support post-16 take up of technical and vocational options; the approach taken to definition and regulation of the new apprenticeship and T-level standards; over-dependence on the contribution of large Levy-paying employers and lack of provision to support the needs of SMEs; and persistent mismatches between demand and the supply of skills. At this event, Ewart and panellists consider what policy revisions or further work may be required to move towards provision that can rise to the challenges of deteriorating skills, emerging skills gaps, the labour market implications of Brexit, and the ongoing need to improve productivity in relation to levels of public spending.
 

 

Participants

Professor Ewart Keep is Chair in Education, Training and Skills, at the Department of Education, University of Oxford, and Director of Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE). He is a member of HEFCE’s new Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee, and the Scottish Funding Council and Skills Development Scotland’s joint Skills Committee. His research interests include: lifelong learning policy, training for low-paid workers, the design and management of education and training systems, employers’ attitudes towards skills and what shape these, and how governments formulate skills policy.

Mark Dawe is chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP). Mark is on the Board of WorldSkills Uk and the UfI Trust as well as a range of government boards such as the SFA / EFA advisory board and the DfE’s Apprenticeship Stakeholder Board. Previously he was the chief executive of OCR, the exam board. He is currently a governor of Sawston Village College and Stapleford Community Primary School. 

Tom Richmond has spent almost a decade working on education, skills and welfare policy: for stakeholders, including Pearson, G4S Welfare to Work; think-tanks such as Policy Exchange and the Social Market Foundation; and then from 2013-15, as senior adviser to DfE Skills Ministers.

Gemma Gathercole is Head of Funding and Assessment at Lsect. Prior to joining Lsect, she spent 11 years with exam board OCR, latterly as their Head of Policy for FE and Funding. Previously she held a number of roles relating to different aspects of vocational qualifications; spending more than five years in vocational qualifications development. 

Event sponsored by

 

 


 

CfEE seminar: School funding and outcomes

Wednesday 11th October 2017, 1.30pm for 2pm till 4pm
Westminster
 
Chair: Carole Willis, Chief Executive, National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)

Panelists: Ben Durbin, Head of International Education at the NFER; Sandra McNally, Professor in the School of Economics at the University of Surrey; Luke Sibieta, Programme Director, Education, Employment and Evaluation division, Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); and Mark Parrett, Audit Manager, Education value for money, National Audit Office.

Despite widespread concerns about the level of school funding, much of the academic literature has struggled to find a significant link between (moderate) changes in school expenditure and changes in pupil outcomes.  Moreover, schools (and education systems) with similar levels of funding can achieve very different levels of pupil attainment.  Evidence is lacking about the appropriate level of funding for schools, the scope for economies of scale (at a school or MAT level), how funding is best administered and where best to spend limited funds in order to have the greatest impact. At this seminar, a leading panel of scholars draw their conclusions as to where the balance of evidence lies on these important issues, with particular attention to the impact of changes to school funding and social mobility in England, including the likely effects of the new National Funding Formula.

 

Participants

Carole Willis is Chief Executive of the National Foundation for Educational Research. Before joining NFER, Carole was Director of Research and Analysis at the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department’s Chief Scientific Adviser. She had responsibility for leading DfE’s community of analysts, setting direction for the Department’s research activity, and building capability to use analysis and evidence effectively to drive education policy reform.

Ben Durbin is Head of International Education at the NFER, leading on the delivery of the PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS international studies in all four countries of the UK, and providing research, assessment and consultancy services to countries across Europe, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. From 2013 to 2016 Ben was Head of Impact at NFER, and prior to that a Senior Research Manager.

Sandra McNally is a Professor in the School of Economics at the University of Surrey. She is Director of the Centre for Vocational Education Research at the London School of Economics. She is also Director of the Education and Skills Programme at the Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

Luke Sibieta is a Programme Director within the Education, Employment and Evaluation division of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. His general research interests include education policy, political economy and poverty and inequality. In the recent past, he has conducted research into the following specific areas: school funding; the impact of the home learning environment on child outcomes; trends in top incomes; trends in child poverty and income inequality; and the politics of tax policy.

Mark Parrett is Audit Manager, Education value for money, National Audit Office. Mark’s recent work has been on retention and development of the teaching workforce, and reports on training new teachers and financial sustainability of schools. Previously Mark was involved in NAO’s work with the local government sector, reporting on implementation of the Care Act and local economic growth policies and has been responsible for NAO work on financial management. Prior to joining the NAO, Mark worked at the Ministry of Defence in a number of finance and policy roles.

Event sponsored by           

 
 
 

 

Lunchtime report launch and panel discussion:

 
CfEE Annual Research Digest 2016-17
'Evidence on uses of technology in education'
 
When: Tuesday 4th July 2017, 12.30-2.30pm 
 
Where: 55 Tufton Street, London
 
Chair: Tim Oates, CBE, Group Director of Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment
PanelistsGabriel Heller Sahlgren, Research Director, Centre for Education Economics;Nick Hassey, Associate Director of Research and Evaluation, Teach First; John David Blake, Head of Education and Social Reform, Policy Exchange; Martin Robinson, educationist, consultant and author
 
 
A substantial amount of money is spent on technology by schools, families and policymakers with the hope of improving educational outcomes. However, the results of these technology initiatives have been mixed. As often as not, the introduction of technology into classrooms has failed to achieve the grand expectations proponents anticipated. Indeed, stories and studies abound about how specific student populations were unable to benefit from particular innovations that feature the use of technology for teaching and learning.
 
In this, our second Annual Research Digest, leading researchers and thinkers consider important pieces of research they think should be acknowledged and discussed in education policy circles - this year with a special focus on the impacts of technology on educational outcomes.
 
An expert panel discuss their findings.
 
Event sponsored by
 
 
 
 
 
 
Download a free .pdf copy of the Digest here.
 
Contributions to the volume include commentary on the following research papers:
 
1. ‘Computers and Productivity: Evidence from Laptop Use in the College Classroom’
- Richard W. Patterson, Robert M. Patterson
by: John Blake 
 
2. ‘Disrupting Education? Experimental Evidence on Technology- Aided Instruction in India’
- Karthik Muralidharan, Abhijeet Singh, and Alejandro J. Ganimian
by: Gabriel Heller Sahlgren 
 
3. ‘Is it the Way they Use it? Teachers, ICT and Student Achievement’
- Simona Comi, Gianluca Argentin, Marco Gui, Federica Origo, and Laura Pagani
by: Nick Hassey 
 
4. ‘Logged In and Zoned Out: How Laptop Internet Use Relates to Classroom Learning’
- Susan M. Ravizza, Mitchell G. Uitvlugt, Kimberly M. Fenn
by: Carl Hendrick 
 
5. ‘The Effect of Adaptive versus Static Practicing on Student Learning - Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment’
- Chris van Klaveren, Sebastiaan Vonkb, and Ilja Cornelisz
by: James Croft 
 
6. ‘Measuring Conceptual Understanding Using Comparative Judgement’
- Marie-Josée Bisson, Camilla Gilmore, Matthew Inglis and Ian Jones
by: Daisy Christodoulou
 
Download a free .pdf copy of the Digest here.
 
 
About the authors
 
John Blake is Head of Education and Social Reform for the think-tank Policy Exchange. Prior to that, he was a senior school leader and history teacher for ten years in a variety of schools in London and Essex.
 
Daisy Christodoulou is the Director of Education at No More Marking, a provider of online comparative judgement. She works closely with schools on developing new approaches to assessment. Before that, she was Head of Assessment at Ark Schools, a network of 35 academy schools. She has taught English in two London comprehensives and has been part of government commissions on the future of teacher training and assessment. Daisy is the author of Seven Myths about Education and Making Good Progress? The future of Assessment for Learning, as well as an influential blog. You can also find her on Twitter @daisychristo.
 
James Croft is Founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Education Economics (CfEE) and the author and co-author of several of its reports, including most recently, 'Optimising autonomy: a blueprint for education reform' (2017); 'Taking a lead: how to access the leadership premium' (2016); and 'Collaborative overreach: why collaboration probably isn’t key to the next phase of school reform' (2015).
 
Nick Hassey is Associate Director of Research and Evaluation at Teach First where he undertakes long term research projects looking at the key drivers of lower attainment for young people from disadvantaged areas, what changes to government policy are likely to mean for schools, and the communities they serve, and the role of Teach First in addressing the issues these schools and communities face. Previously he worked at PwC and began his career at the polling company ComRes.
 
Carl Hendrick is the head of learning and research at Wellington College where he teaches English. He is also completing a PhD at King's College London in education. He has taught for several years in both the state and independent sectors where has worked on several cross-sectoral collaborations and is a co-director of the Telegraph Festival of Education.
 
Gabriel Heller Sahlgren is Research Director at the Centre for Education Economics (CfEE), affiliated research fellow with the Research Institute of Industrial Economics, and a PhD student at the London School of Economics. He is the author of numerous publications on issues relating to applied microeconomics, including ‘Retirement Blues’ in the Journal of Health Economics and Incentivising Excellence: School Choice and Education Quality (CMRE and IEA 2013). Gabriel is the Editor of CfEE's Monthly Research Digest.
 
Download a free .pdf copy of the Digest here.
 
You can subscribe to receive a free copies of the Monthly Research Digest here:        
 

 

Evening lecture and drinks

'High performance learning: a new reform standard for education'

When: Tuesday 28th March, 6 for 6.30pm to 8.00pm (with drinks following)

Where: Swedenborg Hall, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A 2TH

 
School Improvement has had a shaping influence on the education reform landscape in England for twenty years or more. As an approach to reform, it has delivered significant gains, but there are signs that it may now be plateauing. Most schools are now deemed by Ofsted to be good or outstanding, but education is still seen as substandard when judged against international norms. How do we move forward from this position? Deborah argues that we need a new reform standard – one which builds on the school improvement gains, but is more ambitious.
 
A key feature of the best schools in the world is that they focus strongly on pedagogy and how to optimise gains in teaching and learning.  This, she argues, is particularly significant in the light of research suggesting that far more pupils than we previously thought are capable of high performance. So the next phase of school reform should recalibrate expectations regarding how many of these high performers can be produced and be clearer about the type of student we are looking to create.
 
Evidence suggests that to obtain these new gains, new accountability structures are also required. School leaders and teachers must be repositioned as the professionals who are challenging themselves to become ever more effective in creating high performance for the many, not just the few. Hence internal accountability will precede external accountability – the function of the external system regulators being to oversee and ensure that all is working as it should be. This is already happening in a small minority of the best schools: the challenge is to systematise it.
 
Deborah Eyre is the Founder of High Performance Learning, an advanced pedagogy that helps schools become world class through systematically developing superior cognitive performance in all students. Prior to founding this new venture, Deborah held a variety of senior executive roles both globally and in UK as well as advising governments and educational foundations in UK, Hong Kong, South Africa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, USA and Singapore. From 2010-2014 she was Education Director for Nord Anglia Education. Formerly she served as Director of the UK government’s innovative National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY), based at the University of Warwick, where she is an Honorary Professor at the Centre for Education Studies. She is a Freeman of the Guild of Educators and has served on a number of national and international boards including the UK TDA (Training and Development Agency for teachers), NCSL (National College for School Leadership), WCGTC (World Council for Gifted and Talented Children), Council for British International Schools (COBIS) and Centre for Talented Youth Ireland (CTYI). She also serves as a Board member for CMRE. A widely published author, Able Children in Ordinary Schools (1997) is a seminal text still in publication. Her most recent policy publication was 'Room at the Top' (Policy Exchange, 2010). A new book for teachers, High Performance Learning: How to Build a World Class School, was published in January 2016.
 
 

 

Panel discussion
 
'The London advantage, The London Challenge, immigration, and deprivation'

When: Wednesday 1st March, 6 for 6.30pm to 8.00pm (with drinks following)

Where: Offices of The Key, 2nd Floor, 29 Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7JR

ChairGabriel Heller Sahlgren, Director of Research, CMRE; Affiliated Researcher at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics in Stockholm, Sweden; PhD student, London School of Economics
 
Panellists:
Professor Simon Burgess, Professor of Economics at the University of Bristol;
Dr Jo Blanden, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Department of Economics, University of Surrey; and
Jon Coles, CEO of United Learning (and from 2002-05 Director of the London Challenge at the DfE)
 
The advantage enjoyed by London’s young people, in terms of degree of progress they make at Secondary in relation to those outside the capital, is well documented, but little understood. In the debate about how we should account for this success, much emphasis is placed on the effect of school leaders coming together collaboratively, in an effort, between 2003-11, known as ‘the London Challenge’, to implement a variety of school improvement strategies. Unfortunately,
assertions about the success of the London Challenge are generally made on the basis of research that cannot, properly understood, speak to whether, what, and to what degree aspects of the policy contributed causally to improvement. 
 
Seeking a clearer picture of what was going on, a handful of researchers have sought to focus on what can, with confidence, be measured. In 2014, Professor Simon Burgess of the University of Bristol (then Director of CMPO, the Centre for Market and Public Organisation, there), focused in on pupils’ ethnic background and found that by merely holding it constant, the London advantage evaporated. Changes in pupil composition, most likely related to immigration, which in turn would influence pupil work ethic and aspiration, were also recognised as important by a team of researchers from CASE/LSE led by Jo Blandon, who found in addition that improvements in Primary level attainment and a reduction in the negative contribution made by having lots of peers from a deprived background, were even more significant – neither of which have anything to do with the London Challenge initiative.
 
So what are the implications of these findings for other such initiatives, and how we understand and evaluate school improvement interventions, and finally, is there a broader, more important message here for London and the country?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hosted by
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Report launch

 
'Who’s to produce and who’s to choose? Assessing the future of the qualifications and assessment market'
 
When: Tuesday 18th October, 6pm for 6.30pm till 8.30pm
Where: 2 Lord North Street (Great Peter Street entrance), Westminster, SW1P 3LB
 
Tim OatesCBE, Group Director of Assessment R&D, Cambridge Assessment, in conversation with Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, CMRE Director of Research
 
 
For many years, schools in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland have had the right to decide which qualifications their pupils take from a range of options offered by multiple independent providers. This allows an element of diversity in assessment and qualifications, and stimulates competition between different exam boards.
 
Yet over the last few years, this model has faced increasing criticism. Because of perverse incentives, it is argued, competition induces exam boards to dumb down their examinations and inflate grades.
 
As a result of this criticism, former Education Secretary Michael Gove proposed to abolish exam board competition, and instead introduce procurement, by which exam boards compete to be able to deliver all examinations in a specific subject for a set number of years. While the proposal was abandoned – partly because of fears that it would be challenged courts under EU competition, and internal opposition within the governing coalition – it subsequently resurfaced under Michael Gove’s successor Nicky Morgan, and continues to be considered a feasible policy option.
 
In a new report, 'Who’s to produce and who’s to choose? Assessing the future of the qualifications and assessment market', CMRE's Research Director, Gabriel Heller Sahlgren investigates whether consumer choice or procurement is preferable in the field of assessment and qualifications. The report discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each approach and, based on a cost-benefit analysis, it suggests which model is likely to be preferable – and which reforms should be implemented to make sure that model works as well as possible.
 
At this event, Tim Oates discusses with Gabriel Heller Sahlgren what is the first in-depth economic analysis of the topic.
 
Sponsored by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Report launch panel discussion
 
'Taking a lead: how to access the leadership premium'
 
An evening panel discussion to mark the publication of a CMRE report 'Taking a lead: how to access the leadership premium'.
 

James Croft, Executive Director, CMRE, and author of the report, with

Professor Daniel Muijs, Director of Research, Southampton Education School, University of Southampton

Download a .pdf copy of the research report here.
 
When: Tuesday 28th June, 6pm for 6.30pm till 8.30pm
Where: 2 Lord North Street (Great Peter Street entrance), Westminster, SW1P 3LB
 
 
Much of the present government’s education reform strategy turns on being able to maximise a leadership premium. Attracting new leaders from outside teaching has been a key focus, but growing capacity in the existing system may be more important to keeping pace with the government’s expectations and achieving scale solutions.
 
Sir Michael Wilshaw has said that the need to recruit good future leaders for England's schools is urgent but that we lack a strategy for identifying and developing talent. What constitutes effective educational leadership, and whether it may be learned or the skills transferred, is a subject that tends to elicit strong convictions, however.
 
A survey of the substantial research literature concerning the relationship between school leadership and effectiveness reveals a far weaker evidence base than many of the claims made for the importance of leadership, on one or another model, would suggest. It also indicates that the role of contingency and school context in shaping leadership effectiveness is not given the attention that it warrants. 
 
If effective leadership practices are both learned, and embedded, in context, a more refined understanding of contextual and situational leadership and management may therefore be necessary in turn for effective policy geared towards taking advantage of the leadership premium.
 
Sponsored by  
 
 
Download a .pdf copy of the research report here.
 
Download a .pdf copy of the Executive Summary here.
 
Ahead of northern launch events in Manchester and Leeds, One Education interviews James Croft, author of the report.
 
 
 

 
 
Lunchtime launch and panel discussion:
 
'Steps forward, steps backward: What to make of the government's plans for higher education market reform'
 

     A lunchtime panel discussion to mark the publication of a
     collection of essays evaluating the government's plans for
     higher education market reform.
 
      When: Tuesday, 21st June 2016, 12.30pm to 2pm
     Where: 2 Lord North Street (Great Peter Street entrance),
     Westminster, SW1P 3LB
 
     Download a .pdf copy of the report here.
 
 
 
 
 
Introduced by Baroness Perry of Southwark
Chaired by James Croft, Executive Director, CMRE
with panelists Alison Goddard, Editor, HE; Louisa Darian, Deputy Director, Wonkhe; Emran Mian, Director, SMF; and Professor Len ShackletonProfessor of Economics, University of Buckingham and CMRE Fellow.
 
 
The UK Higher Education sector is regarded as one of the best in the world, but in an increasingly global market-place, is looking increasingly uncompetitive. Despite recent efforts to induce greater competition through the introduction of tuition fees and opening the market to new supply, it remains dysfunctional in significant ways.
 
Most institutions charge top tuition fees because the availability of state-backed loans means that they can. Despite the removal of recruiting caps, few universities have expanded significantly. Demand is so great that universities still hold much of the leverage and incentives to improve the quality of provision are lacking.
 
There is also clearly a need for more useful, and reliable information for students: the present ranking system is not grounded in empirical evidence, and indeed the quality of the data that students base their decisions on in general is at best poor, and at worst misleading. As a result, across the system as a whole, there is little evidence of flexibility, creativity and sensitivity to consumer demand. 
 
In face of these, and other, challenges, policymakers are looking for more efficient, cost-effective ways of delivering higher-quality, and more relevant, higher education. The government has presented its view of the priorities in a new Higher Education and Research Bill: we assess whether they are the right ones, and if the proposed measures are likely to achieve their intended aims. 
 
 

 

The second annual CMRE Friedman Lecture: 'School competititon is key to school reform'

Presented by Professor Paul E. Peterson

When: Tuesday 26th January 2016, 6.30-7.45pm

Where: Hoare Memorial Hall, Church House (Great Smith Street entrance), Westminster 

 


 

Challenging the OECD PISA Analysis: Implications for Education Reform

Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, CMRE Director of Research, James Croft, CMRE Executive Director, and Lindsey Burke, Will Skillman Fellow in Education Policy, The Heritage Foundation.

When: Tuesday 17th October, 2015, 10am to 11.30am

Where: Lehrman Auditorium, The Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC

Over the past 15 years, the education debate has become increasingly internationalized following the birth of the OECD’s PISA survey. PISA scores measure the skills and knowledge of students internationally and have become widely interpreted as a measure of countries’ education policy success. Policymakers in countries with lower PISA scores often look to countries that fare well on PISA for ideas to improve student performance. But is this a good way to conduct education policy? This forum will discuss the value of PISA and alternative measures for school reform. Often, a country’s success is more complex than a PISA survey can capture and ignores the potential of free market solutions. Using a range of education policy examples, with Finland, Sweden, England and the United States as case studies, the forum highlights the pitfalls associated with “best practice” and the OECD’s analyses for finding out what works. It will also consider implications for U.S. policy within the context of growing school choice options.

View video of the event here.

 


 

Why schools can’t do without politicians

James Croft interviews Sir Michael Barber about his latest book How to run a government and discusses its implications for education policy and the business of schooling 

with opening remarks from CMRE's President, Neil McIntosh CBE

Sponsored by Dukes Education

When: Tuesday 6th October 2015, 6.30 for 7.00 to 8.30pm

Where: 2 Lord North Street (Great Peter Street entrance), Westminster

The effectiveness or otherwise of governments is fundamental to the prosperity and well-being of society, and of markets. In a time when politicians struggle to make and fulfil meaningful promises in face of the weight of expectations on them and the sheer complexity of delivery, fresh thinking is required to overcome the barriers to implementation presented by the public bureaucracies that have developed as a result. Interviewed by CMRE's Executive Director, James Croft, Sir Michael Barber explores the issues as they relate to education services.

Sir Michael Barber is Chief Education Advisor at Pearson, leading the development of its worldwide programme of efficacy and research into the learning impact of its education services offering.

Read more about the event here.

 


 

Transferable expertise and contextual realities: does the independent schools sector really have all the answers for state school improvement?

Presented by Jon Coles, Group Chief Executive of United Learning

Chaired by Lord Lucas, Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education,

with panel contributions from Sam Freedman, Director of Research, Evaluation and Impact at Teach First, and Richard Harman, Chair of the Headmasters' & Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) and Headmaster of Uppingham School

When: Wednesday 19th August 2015, 6.15 for 6.30 to 8.30pm

Where: 2 Lord North Street (Great Peter Street entrance), Westminster

Faith in the capacity of the independent schools sector to effect improvement in state school provision has been an enduring feature of the policy debate about how to raise pupil attainment for many years. Since the introduction of the Academies programme, securing independent school leadership and resources for the most challenged schools in particular has been a key part of the government’s strategy. But is this faith well placed? At this event, Jon and panellists explored the implications of contextual realities for the prospects of system-wide school improvement, for policy-making in general, and for the relationship between central government and autonomous state schools.

Read more about the event and subsequent media coverage here.

 


 

Real Finnish Lessons: the true story of an education superpower

Tim Oates in conversation with Gabriel Heller Sahlgren

When: Wednesday 22nd April 2015, 6.30-8.30pm

Where: 55 Tufton Street, Westminster

At this joint event, co-hosted by The Centre for the Study of Market Reform of Education (CMRE) and The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), and sponsored by Cambridge Assessment, Tim Oates and Gabriel Heller Sahlgren considered Finland's rise, and demise, in the international PISA rankings, drawing lessons for policymakers, educational practice, and research.

Read more about the lecture and access a video of the event here.

 


 

The Inaugural CMRE Friedman Lecture: 'School choice matures: lessons for policymakers'

Presented by Professor Julian Le Grand

When: Tuesday 27th January 2015, 6.30-7.45pm

Where: Hoare Memorial Hall, Church House (Great Smith Street entrance), Westminster

Read a summary of the lecture or listen to an audio recording.

 


 

Good teachers are crucial – so how can we make them better?

Presented by Professor Olmo Silva with a panel discussion chaired by Gabriel Heller Sahlgren and panel contributions from David Weston and Laura McInerney

When: Thursday 27th November, 6:30-9.30pm

Where: 23 Great Smith Street, Westminster, the offices of the Adam Smith Institute. 

Read more about the event here.

 

The second annual CMRE Friedman Lecture: 'School competititon is key to school reform'

Presented by Professor Paul E. Peterson

When: Tuesday 26th January 2016, 6.30-7.45pm

Where: Hoare Memorial Hall, Church House (Great Smith Street entrance), Westminster 

 

Challenging the OECD PISA Analysis: Implications for Education Reform

Gabriel Heller Sahlgren, CMRE Director of Research, James Croft, CMRE Executive Director, and Lindsey Burke, Will Skillman Fellow in Education Policy, The Heritage Foundation.

When: Tuesday 17th October, 2015, 10am to 11.30am

Where: Lehrman Auditorium, The Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC

Over the past 15 years, the education debate has become increasingly internationalized following the birth of the OECD’s PISA survey. PISA scores measure the skills and knowledge of students internationally and have become widely interpreted as a measure of countries’ education policy success. Policymakers in countries with lower PISA scores often look to countries that fare well on PISA for ideas to improve student performance. But is this a good way to conduct education policy? This forum will discuss the value of PISA and alternative measures for school reform. Often, a country’s success is more complex than a PISA survey can capture and ignores the potential of free market solutions. Using a range of education policy examples, with Finland, Sweden, England and the United States as case studies, the forum highlights the pitfalls associated with “best practice” and the OECD’s analyses for finding out what works. It will also consider implications for U.S. policy within the context of growing school choice options.

View video of the event here.

 

Why schools can’t do without politicians

James Croft interviews Sir Michael Barber about his latest book How to run a government and discusses its implications for education policy and the business of schooling 

with opening remarks from CMRE's President, Neil McIntosh CBE

Sponsored by Dukes Education

When: Tuesday 6th October 2015, 6.30 for 7.00 to 8.30pm

Where: 2 Lord North Street (Great Peter Street entrance), Westminster

The effectiveness or otherwise of governments is fundamental to the prosperity and well-being of society, and of markets. In a time when politicians struggle to make and fulfil meaningful promises in face of the weight of expectations on them and the sheer complexity of delivery, fresh thinking is required to overcome the barriers to implementation presented by the public bureaucracies that have developed as a result. Interviewed by CMRE's Executive Director, James Croft, Sir Michael Barber explores the issues as they relate to education services.

Sir Michael Barber is Chief Education Advisor at Pearson, leading the development of its worldwide programme of efficacy and research into the learning impact of its education services offering.

Read more about the event here.

 

Transferable expertise and contextual realities: does the independent schools sector really have all the answers for state school improvement?

Presented by Jon Coles, Group Chief Executive of United Learning

Chaired by Lord Lucas, Member, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education,

with panel contributions from Sam Freedman, Director of Research, Evaluation and Impact at Teach First, and Richard Harman, Chair of the Headmasters' & Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) and Headmaster of Uppingham School

When: Wednesday 19th August 2015, 6.15 for 6.30 to 8.30pm

Where: 2 Lord North Street (Great Peter Street entrance), Westminster

Faith in the capacity of the independent schools sector to effect improvement in state school provision has been an enduring feature of the policy debate about how to raise pupil attainment for many years. Since the introduction of the Academies programme, securing independent school leadership and resources for the most challenged schools in particular has been a key part of the government’s strategy. But is this faith well placed? At this event, Jon and panellists explored the implications of contextual realities for the prospects of system-wide school improvement, for policy-making in general, and for the relationship between central government and autonomous state schools.

Read more about the event and subsequent media coverage here.

 

Real Finnish Lessons: the true story of an education superpower

Tim Oates in conversation with Gabriel Heller Sahlgren

When: Wednesday 22nd April 2015, 6.30-8.30pm

Where: 55 Tufton Street, Westminster

At this joint event, co-hosted by The Centre for the Study of Market Reform of Education (CMRE) and The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), and sponsored by Cambridge Assessment, Tim Oates and Gabriel Heller Sahlgren considered Finland's rise, and demise, in the international PISA rankings, drawing lessons for policymakers, educational practice, and research.

Read more about the lecture and access a video of the event here.

 

The Inaugural CMRE Friedman Lecture: 'School choice matures: lessons for policymakers'

Presented by Professor Julian Le Grand

When: Tuesday 27th January 2015, 6.30-7.45pm

Where: Hoare Memorial Hall, Church House (Great Smith Street entrance), Westminster

Read a summary of the lecture or listen to an audio recording.

 

Good teachers are crucial – so how can we make them better?

Presented by Professor Olmo Silva with a panel discussion chaired by Gabriel Heller Sahlgren and panel contributions from David Weston and Laura McInerney When: Thursday 27th November, 6:30-9.30pm Where: 23 Great Smith Street, Westminster, the offices of the Adam Smith Institute. Read more about the event here.