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Breaking the Link? Attainment, poverty and rural schools

The relationship between disadvantage and attainment varies considerably between different parts of England. Combining datasets shows that poverty has a particularly pernicious effect on educational attainment in some area-types, particularly the rural areas shown in green, below. Free School Meals aren’t the only ingredient In recent years there has been increasing recognition that the relationship …

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Don’t forget the field! Why researchers should speak to teachers, parents and pupils

“The distance between those in the classroom and those of us trying to help from the outside has increased exponentially” These are the words of Karen Wespieser in her article “From Ivory Towers to the Chalkface” in today’s TES. Karen is a researcher who has spent nearly twenty-years designing research and policy to help schools …

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‘Evidence-based’ education policy – aspiration or fantasy?

Despite widespread calls for more ‘evidence-based’ education policy, I’m not entirely convinced – either by its possibility or desirability. Given that I work for an organisation that conducts research to help shape education policy, this might seem surprising. However, it’s about time we moved away from New Labour’s “what counts is what works” mantra. Instead, …

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Making Waves: Maybe it’s you who has the answer!

We are very excited to be launching a new 18 month project with Pearson, exploring: How the workload associated with assessment can be reduced; and, How teachers’ professional expertise in relation to assessment can be developed. The project is kicking off with our first ever ‘crowd-sourcing’ campaign, asking teachers, schools and groups of schools to …

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Understanding young people’s happiness and wellbeing

Today’s report from the Children’s Society on young people’s well-being is essential reading. It is thoroughly researched, robust and insightful. Below I summarise six of the report’s most interesting findings. 1. Young people’s life satisfaction is falling – but don’t forget the longer term trends There have been significant drops in young people’s happiness with …

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