Building and testing evaluation theory to inform effective educational accountability and improvement.
Our centre builds and tests evaluation theory, and uses such evaluation theory to build capacity of those who evaluate and hold teachers, schools and school systems to account.
In doing so we aim to transform the way education is evaluated (both formative and summative) by building intelligent, agile and more effective accountability, assessment and evaluation systems, methods and models which support school improvement and lead to more equitable education systems.
Our work is organized in two strands:
- School-led evaluation: (internal) evaluation in schools: such as through lesson observations, school self-evaluation, performance management and management information systems (EMIS), and peer reviews
- Educational accountability: (external) evaluation of schools, school networks and education systems: such as through school inspections, high stakes testing, and (school report card) monitoring
Projects undertaken by our centre:
- Realist synthesis of impact of accountability interventions in low and middle income countries
- System dynamics to study the change from schools and school board inspections
- Nature, prevalence and effectiveness of teachers' instructional strategies to prepare students for Key Stage 2 Maths tests
- Inspections of school networks in polycentric education systems
- Impact of inspections on school improvement
- Research-informed Peer Review (RiPR)
We work and have worked with a range of international agencies, ministries of Education, Inspectorates of Education and testing agencies, both within the UK and internationally, such as:
- OECD, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
- UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
- UNICEF, United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund
- Dutch Inspectorate of Education
- SICI: the Standing International Conference of Inspectorates
- Ofqual, Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation
- STA, Standing and Testing Agency
- DfID, Department for International Development
- DfE, Department for Education
- Professional Development
We offer a one week summer school course:
Educational Accountability and Evaluation; theory and effective international practices
This course facilitates academic debate about the aims of educational accountability and evaluation and encourages a questioning and critical stance on accountability and evaluation across international contexts.
Programme and bookings:
We offer national and international consultancy in line with our research work.
Examples of projects we have taken on:
- Strategy/methodology sessions and expert panels with Inspectorates of Education in the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, England, Ireland to develop their methodology
- Country reviews of evaluation and assessment systems in Luxemburg and Tanzania/Zanzibar and training of school inspectors (OECD, UNICEF)
- Validation of inspection frameworks (Ofsted, Dutch Inspectorate of Education)
- Piloting Research Informed Peer Review (RiPR): working with six primary schools in England. This work is developing and evaluating a new model of peer review to use with clusters of schools in a range of national and international contexts. Proof of concept testing in the pilot will underpin a funding application to trial and evaluate this process with a larger network of schools.
Contact for further information:
- Accountability and school differential effects, 14 November 2018
- The paradox of organisation (school) networks, 6 September 2018
- Trust and accountability, 24 April 2018
- Accountability and inequality, 23 January 2018
- High stakes testing in mathematics, 5 December 2017
- Accountability of educational networks, 5 September 2017