New report on evidence-based policy-making in education
26 January 2017
The UK has a good range of mechanisms in place to support evidence-based policy-making in education. This is one of the messages which emerge from a new report that maps how evidence is used by education policy-makers across Europe.
The Eurydice Unit at the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) provided the information on the picture in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The European Commission authored the full report, which explores:
- what types of evidence are used in making education policy
- the similarities and differences between European countries' approaches to using evidence
- the mechanisms which support evidence-based policy-making.
The report sets out that:
- Having a high quality evidence-base for effective policy-making is a key factor in improving education systems.
- Most countries have official arrangements with a range of different types of organisations that could potentially provide evidence to education policy-makers. Across the UK, policy formulation can involve a particularly wide range of evidence sources, including research agencies, national statistics agencies and public/stakeholder consultations.
- Only about a third of countries have official arrangements for facilitating education policy-makers’ access to evidence. England, Wales and Scotland are among these, with organisations such as the What Works Network contributing to this.
Helen Aston, Head of Centre for Information and Knowledge at NFER, commented: “The report highlights examples of evidence-informed policy-making within each jurisdiction covered by the Eurydice network, but does not seek to assess the extent to which evidence-based policy-making takes place in each jurisdiction.”
The report is available here.
Notes to Editors:
- About Eurydice at NFER
Eurydice at NFER is the Eurydice Unit for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Based at the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), we are jointly funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the European Commission.
Eurydice at NFER:
- contributes to Eurydice network publications
- produces policy briefings and a digest of policy across Europe, Education in the News
- provides an enquiry service for education policy makers
- maintains national education system descriptions for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the Eurydice Network's encyclopaedia.
- About NFER
NFER is a leading independent provider of rigorous research and insights in education, working to create an excellent education for all children and young people. We are a charity, providing robust and innovative research, assessments and other services that are widely known and used by key decision-makers. Any surplus generated is reinvested in projects to support our charitable purpose.
- About the Eurydice Network
The Eurydice network is the European Commission's information network on education in Europe and part of Erasmus+, the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. The network gathers, monitors, processes and circulates reliable and readily comparable information on education systems and policies throughout Europe.
The Eurydice network consists of 42 national units based in 38 countries participating in the Erasmus+ programme (28 Member States, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey) and is managed by the EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) in Brussels, which coordinates its comparative publications and databases.