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Popular NFER blog posts of 2017
With 2017 coming to an end, we revisit some of our most popular blog posts of the year.
Blog post | 21 December 2017

The revised careers strategy: is it enough to ‘address the issue of variable quality’?
In this new blog post, NFER’s Tami McCrone looks at whether the Government’s newly published revised careers strategy is enough to address the issue of variable quality.
Blog post | 14 December 2017

Evaluation of University Technical Colleges (UTCs) – Year One
The first evaluation of University Technical College (UTC) approaches to curriculum design and employer engagement has found that project-based learning and employer involvement has helped to create more well-rounded, work-ready students.
News release | Research report | 12 December 2017

Improve job satisfaction to stop teachers quitting the classroom
New insights from NFER, released today, indicates that improved job satisfaction is the main driver for teachers who leave the profession.
Press release | Research update | 7 December 2017

NFER comment on results of PIRLS 2016
The latest results from PIRLS 2016 (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) have been published today. NFER was responsible for delivering the survey in Northern Ireland (NI) and reporting on the results.
News release | NI Research report | PIRLS | 5 December 2017

PIRLS 2016 results and the importance of teaching
With the latest Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) results released today, NFER’s Juliet Sizmur looks at what they tell us about education in England.
Blog post | 5 December 2017

What will the PIRLS results tell us about reading in England and Northern Ireland?
In this blog post, NFER's Juliet Sizmur considers how next week's PIRLS results could provide an opportunity to assess the impact of changes put in place by the Conservative Government to improve reading in primary schools.
Blog post | 1 December 2017

Independent evaluation of the Literacy Octopus suggests more effective ways for research evidence to impact on classroom practice and pupil outcomes
The results of two randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of the Literacy Octopus, carried out and evaluated by NFER, have been published today by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) as part of its work to find out more about how academic research can have an impact on classroom practice and pupil outcomes.
News release | 1 December 2017

The Industrial Strategy: Will the Government put its money where its mouth is?
Following yesterday's launch of the government's industrial strategy, NFER’s Claudia Sumner looks at what the industrial strategy means for education.
Blog post | 28 November 2017

Collaborating with businesses will support London youngsters in making best career choices
Encouraging and supporting businesses to become involved in education is seen as a priority for London’s schools and colleges, according to a new report released today by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and London Councils.
Press release | Research report | PowerPoint Guide | 24 November 2017

Are secondary free schools really achieving what they’re supposed to?
NFER’s Chloe Rush asks the question in our latest blog post.
Blog post | 15 November 2017

New EEF evaluation report published today
An Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) funded evaluation of the Teacher Observation intervention, conducted by NFER Education Trials Unit, has been published today.
News release | 10 November 2017

Focused support needed to tackle teacher supply challenge in London, says research
Researchers at NFER found that London has considerably more teachers leaving the profession compared to other areas of the country, including other large cities such as Birmingham and Manchester.
Press release | Research report | 25 October 2017

More and better part-time opportunities needed for secondary school teachers
The Teacher Retention and Turnover Research: Interim Report, published today calls for the Government and stakeholders in the secondary sector to urgently look at identifying ways in which more and better part-time working can be accommodated in secondary schools.
Press release | Research report | 24 October 2017

International school spending – how does the UK compare?
With school funding remaining a key issue, Maire Williams looks at how UK education spending compares internationally.
Blog post | 23 October 2017

Leading character education in schools
The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) with the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and Pearson have today issued case studies of senior school leaders’ first-hand experiences of leading character education, together with a new research-based practice guide.
News release | Research report | 23 October 2017

Are teacher pay reforms having an impact on schools?
Matt Walker blogs about the latest findings from an evaluation of the recent reforms to the pay of teachers.
Blog post | 20 October 2017

Evaluation of teachers pay reform
This DfE report provides findings from research which explored schools’ responses to recent changes to the system for deciding teachers’ and leaders’ pay.
Research report | 19 October 2017

Why a standardised or uniform approach to administration of a school-entry assessment will be fairer in the new high-stakes school accountability regime
This new paper in the NFER Thinks series outlines the reasons for having a standardised or uniform approach to the administration and scoring of a new school-entry assessment that has been proposed by the Government as a baseline for measuring progress across the primary phase.
Press release | NFER Thinks | 19 October 2017

Apprenticeships in England - are they working?
Researcher Zoe des Clayes reviews the latest DfE statistical first release on apprenticeship figures.
Blog post | 17 October 2017

Party conferences: policy aspiration, inspiration and ideation
This autumn, for the first time, NFER sent delegates to both the Labour and Conservative party conferences. In this blog post, Karen Wespieser and Claudia Sumner summarise some of the key policy discussions from the conferences and how NFER research evidence could play a useful role.
Blog post | 6 October 2017

Phonics results – Now that’s good news for young readers
In this blog post published today, NFER's Jane Nicholas takes a close look at the government's latest statistical first release on the phonics screening check (PSC), in particular how the achievement rates have changed across the country since its introduction.
Blog post | 29 September 2017

Choose a not-for-profit research organisation for a lower effect size?
In this latest blog, NFER’s Ben Styles comments on Stephen Gorard’s recent book on RCTs in education and how it relates to the funding landscape for evaluation research in English schools.
Blog post | 20 September 2017

National Reference Test dates announced for 2018
The date of the second annual National Reference Test (NRT) has been announced today (September 18) by The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). It will be held between 19 February and 2 March 2018.
News release | 18 September 2017

NFER comments on the DfE response to the consultation on primary assessment in England
Read our thoughts on the latest developments in primary assessment including the introduction of a baseline assessment for benchmarking progress.
News release | 15 September 2017

What’s happening to reading under the new curriculum and assessment regime at KS2?
Researchers Jennie Harland and Claire Hodgson discuss the provisional national curriculum assessment results for KS2, focusing on reading moving from its position as the subject with the highest performance under the old curriculum and assessment regime to the lowest under the new one.
Blog post | 31 August 2017

Overall NEET rates continue to fall but should we be concerned about the rise in 16 to 18 year olds who are NET as well as NEET?Latest Statistical First Release confirmed the downward trend in the proportion of young people who are NEET over recent years, first reported back in June.Blog post | 25 August 2017

NFER reacts to the DfE's Statistical First Releases
Since June 2017, NFER researchers have been delving into data produced by the Department for Education and producing 'same day' analysis and commentary of Statistical First Releases.
News release | 24 August 2017

Career progression in the further education and training sector
In March 2017, NFER was commissioned by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and its membership body, the Society for Education and Training (SET), to support the development of, as well as analyse and report on, a survey of career progression within the Further Education and Training sector.
Research report | 7 August 2017

Income and expenditure in academies: new data raises more questions than answers
In this blog post, researcher Claire Easton takes a closer look at the latest DfE statistics on income and expenditure in academies.
Blog post | 2 August 2017

The ups and downs of teacher recruitment
Responding to new Initial Teacher Training figures released today, Maire Williams blogs about the ups and downs of teacher recruitment
Blog post | 27 July 2017

Top NFER research reports to read over the summer
From exploring the challenging issue of teacher retention and turnover to a closer look at Regional Schools Commissioner areas, we’ve put together the most popular NFER research reports and guides based on downloads from our website in the last six months.
View reports | 21 July

Changing the subject? How EBacc is changing school timetables
Following Justine Greening’s announcement that the 90% EBacc target has been pushed back 5 years, we look at how EBacc is changing school timetables
Blog post | 20 July 2017

Capacity for collaboration? Analysis of School-to-School Support Capacity in England
Schools could turn to one another for support in time of budget constraints, according to new analysis.
Press release | Research report | 19 July 2017

Increasing pupil numbers create challenges for secondary schools
In our latest blog, Suzanne Straw takes a look at the implications of DfE’s national pupil projections released today.
Blog post | 13 July 2017

If you want to learn, ask a teacher
The third and final part of our evidence-informed policymaking blog series looks at the importance of stakeholders.
Blog post | 10 July 2017

NFER appointed to carry out new OECD International Early Learning and Child Well-being Study
NFER has been appointed by the Department for Education to carry out a new OECD study to improve children’s early development in England.
News release | 6 July 2017

Festival of Education and Festival of Skills
NFER experts presented four sessions at these festivals: Is there a crisis in teacher retention?; PISA – Hero or villain of the education world?; Are UTCs working?; Opportunities and challenges for employer engagement
Read more | 30 June 2017

Teacher retention and turnover research: Research update 2
Being part of Multi-Academy Trusts may help schools in challenging areas to recruit and retain teachers.
Press release | Research report | 27 June 2017

More teachers are joining than leaving the profession, but will it be enough to meet demand?
Following today’s release of the School Workforce Census, Sarah Lynch and Jack Worth review the current state of the teacher labour market.
Blog post | 22 June 2017

University Technical Colleges: Beneath the Headlines - NFER Contextual Analysis
New research published today compares the characteristics and outcomes of University Technical College (UTC) students with similar students at the schools they attended during Key Stage 3 prior to joining the UTC.
Press release | Research report | 22 June 2017

NFER response to government consultation on primary assessment in England
NFER has published its submission to the government consultation on primary assessment in England.
Press release | Response to consultation | 21 June 2017

Keeping up with the Jönses: European mechanisms for evidence-informed policymaking
Sigrid Boyd and Claudia Sumner look at the way research evidence informs education policy in other European countries.
Blog post | 20 June 2017

NFER Trustee recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours list
Ian Bauckham, has been appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s 2017 Birthday Honours List for services to education.
News release | 20 June 2017

Importance of evidence in a post-truth world
In the first of a three-part blog series on evidence-informed policymaking, Julie Nelson and Claudia Sumner address how our politicians can use evidence to inform policy.
Blog post | 16 June 2017

Situations vacant
Following one of the most remarkable election results Britain has ever seen, Geoff Gee and Karen Wespieser take a look at the future for education.
Blog post | 9 June 2017

Devolution at a crossroads?
NFER’s Cymru research team explore the education policies in the main political parties’ tailored manifestos for Wales.
Blog post | 7 June 2017

What you don’t find out about England’s educational performance in the PISA league table
The last in our series of election factsheets explains what the PISA league tables can and can't tell us.
Fact sheet | 6 June 2017

School funding – summary of evidence
School funding has been central to the education election debate. This note provides a summary of the key pledges from the main parties’ manifestos and asks if the evidence available supports their claims on this topic.
Read the pledges here | 6 June 2017

Are free schools good for my child?
In our latest election factsheet, we explore the topic of free schools.
Factsheet | 2 June 2017

School funding: Why we must not lose focus on addressing disadvantage
Continuing on the theme of education funding in the run up to the general election, our latest blog post by Caroline Sharp and Maire Williams puts the spotlight on protecting pupil premium.
Blog post | 1 June 2017

Academies and maintained schools: what do we know? This is the second factsheet published just prior to the 2017 United Kingdom General Election.
Factsheet | 31 May 2017

Education funding – time for more than just talkingKaren Wespieser and Maire Williams look at one of the key education issues on top of the political agenda.
Blog post | 30 May 2017

When I saw the opportunity to take the prime minister to task over grammar schools, I had to take it
In our latest election blog, read what happened when Head of Impact Karen Wespieser challenged the prime minister about grammar schools at a Duck Day fete.
Blog post | 26 May 2017

Getting the facts straight on education
Following the first televised election debate, NFER’s Karen Wespieser looks at the facts behind the policies in our latest blog post
Blog post | 19 May 2017

Teacher retention and turnover research: Research update 1
Leaving rates are ‘particularly high’ for early-career teachers in EBacc subjects, new analysis published today reveals.
Press release | Research report | 16 May 2017

The young people who don't fall NEET-ly into the picture
Claudia Sumner and Tami McCrone discuss one of the top education issues the main parties should be talking about ahead of the 2017 General Election.
Blog post | 10 May 2017

Key insights podcast: election special
Karen Wespieser, Head of Impact joined The Key insights panel to discuss what the 2017 General Election will mean for education. Listen to the full discussion here.
Podcast | 9 May 2017

Putting evidence at the heart of policymaking
In our latest Election 2017 blog post, NFER CEO Carole Willis looks at the importance of embedding evidence into policymaking.
Blog post | 8 May 2017

Randomised Controlled Trial and Process Evaluation of Code Clubs
Report detailing randomised controlled trial and process evaluation of Code Clubs between June 2015 and September 2016.
Research report | 4 May 2017

NFER comments on Education Committee’s Primary Assessment Report
NFER welcomes Education Committee’s view that assessment provides beneficial information and insight for learning, as well as for continuous improvement and accountability.
News release | 3 May 2017

General Election 2017
Now live, our dedicated pages of blogs, factsheets and educational evidence can be found here.
Go to page | 3 May 2017

Keeping Your Head: NFER Analysis of Headteacher Retention
New research published today shows that headteacher retention rates have fallen since 2012, giving cause for concern.
Press release | Research report | 28 April 2017

NFER appoints new Chair of Board of Trustees
NFER is delighted to announce the appointment of Lorna Cocking as Chair of the NFER Board of Trustees.
Press release | 24 April 2017

A tale of eight regions Part 2: Challenge and Support Across the Regional School Commissioner AreasNew analysis reveals dramatic differences in the challenges facing Regional Schools Commissioners.
Press release | Research report | 20 April 2017

Evidence for the Frontline
NFER evaluated the pilot of Evidence for the Frontline (E4F) (2015–2016) – an online brokerage service which supports more effective use of research evidence by schools.
Research report | 31 March 2017

Inaugural NFER sponsored E-Assessment Research Award goes to University of Wolverhampton
Award acknowledged the contribution made by an individual or team for innovative research that has, or has the potential to have, a significant impact on e-assessment.
News release

Educational organisations provide an approach to developing a whole school assessment that supports each and every learner
A new resource - Refocusing Assessment - has been jointly published by three educational organisations.
Press release | Blog post | Access the resource

Retaining teachers in Wales - what do we know?
Jack Worth and Jennifer Garry discuss statistics relating to teacher recruitment and retention in Wales.
Blog post

Executive headship – practical guidance for leadership teams
A new practical guide for schools on Executive Headship has been published today by NFER and Leadership Matters, based on research conducted by NFER, Ambition School Leadership and the National Governors’ Association.
News release

No academic benefit to attending partially selective schoolsAnalysis by NFER compares the results of pupils at partially selective schools with comparable pupils at similar, non-selective schools.
Press release | Research report

Life as an NFER apprentice
For National Apprenticeship Week 2017, our apprentice Harminder Hundal discusses her experience juggling various roles at NFER.
Blog post

Welsh government consultation on workforce data collection: NFER response
NFER response to the Welsh government consultation on proposed changes to the collection of individual-level information on the school workforce in Wales.
Response to consultation

NFER undertaking major new analysis to improve understanding of teacher retention and workforce turnover
Major education research grant from the Nuffield Foundation is funding a new research project on teacher retention.
Press release

Edge Foundation and NFER launch online tool to support schools and colleges in their engagement with employers
A free, interactive online tool for senior leaders and teachers in schools and colleges has been launched by the Edge Foundation in partnership with NFER.
News release

NFER Tests Suite 2 shortlisted for Education Resources Award 2017
The tests have been shortlisted for the category ‘Primary Resource or Equipment – Tools for leadership, management and assessment including ICT’.
News release

Conclusions of the Education Committee’s report on multi-academy trusts (MATs) echo key points from NFER’s submission
Report on MATs, published on Tuesday 28 February 2017, picked up on some key points from NFER’s submission to the Committee’s inquiry in April 2016.
News release

NFER welcomes Education Select Committee report
Foundation reaction to report on the recruitment and retention of teachers published on Tuesday 21 February 2017.News release

Could teacher retention be improving?The Education Select Committee has released a report arguing that the Government should place greater emphasis on improving teacher retention. Here’s why NFER agrees also.Blog post

Schools that work for everyone: Tackling disadvantageJoana Andrade’s third post on schools that work for everyone explores the term ‘disadvantage’.Blog post

New report on evidence-based policy-making in education
Eurydice Unit at NFER provides information on the picture in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for new European Commission report.
News release | Research report

Are secondary schools making enough progress in closing the attainment gap?Research Director Caroline Sharp says secondary schools have a long way to go in closing the attainment gap in state-funded schools.Blog post

The use of R&D in schools inches forwardAn analysis of responses from practitioners in teaching schools found that they would welcome support from the research community in addressing challenges faced in delivering research and development.Blog post

NFER is the national centre to deliver PISA 2018 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
NFER commissioned to form the National Centre for the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
News release | More on PISA 2018

NFER gives evidence to Education Committee on primary assessment
18 January 2017: Research Director Catherine Kirkup gives evidence to the House of Commons Education Select Committee following NFER's written submission on primary assessment in October 2016.
Response to consultation

Call for research evidence to be made more accessible to practitionersOne of a number of findings that emerged from an analysis of 83 teaching schools and a comparison group of 80 outstanding schools.News release | Research report