Useful articles

Accountability | Assessment | Classroom practice | Education to Employment | School funding | School workforce | Systems and structures

Accountability

Taking a look behind this year’s headline A level results - NFER Blog, August 2018
Following this year’s A Level results, NFER's Chris Dixon and Maire Williams delve deeper into what the headline figures tell us.
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Assessment

Preparing schools for PISA 2018 - SecEd, March 2018
As PISA 2018 gets under way, the NFER’s Rebecca Wheater looks at how it works, what it tells us, and explains why it’s important for schools to take part.
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Refocus assessment - Leader Magazine, June 2017
NFER’s David Thomas explains how schools have been given an important opportunity to develop a bespoke assessment strategy focusing on pupils’ needs, and highlights a new resource designed to help them achieve this.
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Analysing the UK’s PISA results - SecEd, March 2017
The latest PISA findings shine a light on UK performance in maths, science and reading. However, they should be read in context and with caution. Dorothy Lepkowska takes a look.
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Classroom practice

Introducing NFER Classroom - NFER Blog, July 2018
NFER works in a number of ways to ensure evidence is used to help support the best possible education for young people. NFER’s Nicola Ward discusses how the launch of NFER Classroom will help us better support teachers and those working on-the-ground in schools..
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Evidence-based resources: Do they make a difference? - Headteacher Update, January 2018
Many teachers find it hard to engage with and act on research evidence, even when they know it can help them to improve teaching practice and student outcomes. Dorothy Lepkowska explains.
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Leading character education - Leader, December 2017
As discussion grows around character education, researchers NFER’s David Sims and Matt Walker highlight key findings from a new research project into the ways that five pioneering schools are leading character education within their settings.
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Flipping the learning - SecEd, March 2016
Jennie Harland reports on new research into flipped learning and identifies what this approach can offer students in terms of more active and personalised learning and improved progress.
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Teaching strategies for maths and science - SecEd, November 2015
Three new reports offer a range of teaching and learning strategies in maths and science, all based on international evidence. Dorothy Lepkowska takes a look.
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Talk About Alcohol - SecEd, September 2015
Alcohol education is a challenging area for schools to tackle effectively. Dorothy Lepkowska reports on an evaluation of the Talk About Alcohol intervention programme.
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Education to employment

Making new T levels a success - SecEd, May 2018
With the introduction of T levels, the government has signalled one of the biggest shake-ups in the English qualifications system for years. Dr Claudia Sumner looks at the evidence of how schools and colleges can work with employers to provide students with effective practical experience – a key part of the new qualifications.
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A successful careers offer - SecEd, January 2018
Schools have a duty to offer independent and impartial careers guidance. Dorothy Lepkowska looks at research into how London schools are successfully delivering on this duty.
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Ready for Apprenticeship reform? - SecEd, January 2017
How prepared are providers and employers to meet the challenges of the Apprenticeship reforms? Dorothy Lepowska looks at the latest research findings.
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UTCs: The reality behind the headlines - SecEd, September 2017
New research on University Technical Colleges has highlighted a number of key issues that might be preventing them from providing a viable route to improving technical and vocational education. Daniele Bernardinelli looks at the findings.
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Context is key, says NFER's review of technical education - InTuition, Spring 2016
A recent NFER report highlights what technical and vocational education should look like and how it can be understood and applied.
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Time for reform of the apprenticeship levy? - NFER Blog, April 2018
NFER’s Maire Williams and Jens Van den Brande explore what the latest evidence tells us about the apprenticeship levy.
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Innovative approaches to technical education: new and original or just old hard hat? - NFER Blog, July 2018
NFER’s David Sims reflects on a recent debate on T-Levels and how innovative the reforms really are.
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Innovative approaches to technical education - YouTube, July 2018
At this debate chaired by NFER's David Sims, panelists examine different approaches to providing cutting-edge technical education which is central to the development of T levels and the push to increase productivity.
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There’s no doubting that careers advice has improved since my day - NFER Blog, March 2018
NFER’s CEO, Carole Willis, talks about the careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) she received at school and gives her opinion on how things have changed. Her verdict? Things are better but still far from good enough.
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Vocational studies and T-Levels: what will be different this time around - NFER Blog, February 2018
NFER’s Claudia Sumner discusses what is required to make T-Levels a success.
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The revised careers strategy: is it enough to ‘address the issue of variable quality’? - NFER Blog, December 2017
NFER’s Tami McCrone discusses recent change highlighted in the careers strategy and questions whether it will be enough to address the issue of variable quality.
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What makes work experience effective? - SecEd, April 2015
What makes for an effective work experience placement? Dorothy Lepkowska looks at the findings of recent research into overcoming common barriers to placements and innovative approaches.
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Engaging with SMEs - SecEd, March 2015
How can schools encourage and support collaboration with SMEs to improve young people's employability skills and transition into work?
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School funding

The NFER Debates' - Do small increases to school budgets make any difference to performance? - YouTube, July 2018
At this debate chaired by NFER's Angela Donkin, a leading panel of scholars discuss the impact of changes to school funding and social mobility in England, the likely effects of the new National Funding Formula and more.
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The evidence on school funding - SecEd, June 2018
Complaints about a lack of school funding are frequently hitting the headlines, with concerns over how budget pressures will affect schools and colleges in England. NFER’s Maire Williams looks at what the evidence tells us.
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In times of austerity and budget cuts, it’s important to identify where money can do the most good in schools - NFER Blog, Jan 2018
NFER’s Maire Williams reflects on a recent forum event which highlighted the high level of concern around current budgets and discusses what the latest evidence tells us about school spending.
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International school spending – how does the UK compare? - NFER Blog, October 2017
NFER’s Maire Williams discusses what the latest evidence tells us about school spending in the UK compared to that around the world.
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Are teacher pay reforms having an impact on schools? - NFER Blog, October 2017
NFER’s Matt Walker discusses findings from a recent study of schools’ response to teacher pay reforms introduced in 2013.
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School workforce

Tackling teacher retention and turnover challenges - Headteacher Update, March 2018
A major on-going research project by the National Foundation for Educational Research is helping us to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics within retention and recruitment for the teacher workforce in England. Dorothy Lepkowska looks at the latest findings.
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Changes in subject teaching time - SecED, June 2017
NFER research on teacher retention has highlighted how both the accountability system and teacher supply are influencing changes in the teaching time secondary schools dedicate to different subjects. Jack Worth explains.
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Keeping hold of your teachers - SecEd, November 2016
New research into retention has uncovered some of the reasons why teachers quit the profession as well as those vital ‘protective factors’ that can help a school to retain, engage and motivate their teachers. Researcher Sarah Lynch takes a look.
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