The NFER blog

Evidence for excellence in education


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Education: National saving or investment?

With George Osborne’s spending review imminent, difficult choices are being made on how to prioritise funding for public services, with the current ring-fencing of school budgets being questioned by the likes of Reform.  It has therefore never been more important for spending decisions to be based on solid evidence. With this in mind, NFER has this month produced a special issue of its journal, Educational Research, on Value for Money in Education. Continue reading


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How getting their heads together could help schools raise standards

“Competition is not the way to raise standards – collaboration is.”

Vic Goddard, Principal of Passmores Academy in Essex, spoke for many with these words aired during last night’s discussion on Newsnight of Ofsted’s Unseen Children report – if the extent to which the sector has embraced new models of working is anything to go by. Indeed, Sir Michael Wilshaw himself has highlighted that he intends to use Ofsted’s new regional structure to ‘work with local areas to support them and help them link up with best practice’, implying a greater emphasis on collaboration. Continue reading


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How do we help ‘unseen’ children access achievement?

By Guest Bloggers Julie Nelson and Richard White

Today, Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills issued a report: Unseen Children: access and achievement 20 years on. The report contains some positive messages, showing that the achievement of some of our nation’s most disadvantaged children is on the rise. Continue reading


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How can FE colleges help young people make successful transitions at 14?

When I was presenting on this subject recently at the LSIS annual research conference one participant commented:

successful transitions can be achieved through effective relationships between key people in both organisations [colleges and schools]’ Continue reading