Strategy and Vision

Overview | Annual Report | Impact Review 2015 | Our Vision for 2020 | History of NFER

Our vision for 2020

During 2015 we invested time to reflect on and refine our vision and strategy. To help us, we engaged our staff and consulted many of our stakeholders. Our refreshed vision for 2020 reinforces our commitment not just to producing robust research, but also to ensuring that it is used to improve education.

NFER is the leading independent provider of education research – our robust and innovative research, assessments and other services are widely known and used by key decision makers. Our trusted expertise and authoritative insights inform debate on the issues that matter in education. Our team of creative, skilled and committed staff take pride in the impact we have on creating an excellent education for all children and young people.


Our approach to achieving this vision

Influential in driving education policy and practice

  • Championing the use of evidence, and providing expert advice to help policymakers, schools and other organisations to use evidence in their decision-making.
  • Strengthening our engagement across the education sector, to help shape and deliver our research and answer key questions.
  • Building on our expertise in international surveys to support governments, agencies and other bodies to drive up education standards.
  • Investing in our own research and increasing our impact, including the high-quality support services we provide to those working in education.

Generating creative insights based on robust evidence

  • Building the evidence base on the key issues that affect educational outcomes in the early years, primary and secondary education, and the different routes young people take into further and higher education and employment.
  • Using our unique mix of research skills, operational expertise, subject knowledge and excellent relationships with schools to produce research and analysis of the highest quality.
  • Promoting the use of quantitative analysis in education and extending the reach of our Education Trials Unit, with its proven expertise in conducting randomised controlled trials with schools.
  • Deploying our qualitative research experts to provide deeper insights into what the data tell us, exploring why and how different approaches do or do not work.

A flourishing and growing business that can invest in the evidence base

  • Seeking out opportunities and partners who can support our work and develop the organisation.
  • Continuing to build our reach and reputation as experts in educational assessment, both nationally and internationally.
  • Providing a knowledge service that helps education professionals keep one step ahead of developments in education, in the UK and abroad.
  • Extending our portfolio of products in schools and other education institutions, using our expertise and engagement with heads and teachers to identify tools that will help improve teaching and learning.