The NFER blog

Evidence for excellence in education


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Evidence is key to educating the Neknomi-nation

By guest blogger Sarah Lynch, Senior Research Manager

Alastair Campbell, best known for his work as former Director of Communications and Strategy for Tony Blair, recently commented in the Times Educational Supplement that, as someone who struggled with alcohol dependency himself, he has concerns that education on problem drinking is being sidelined in schools. Continue reading


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Is education the key to social mobility – or a hidden chain?

I read the recent press coverage of the OECD’s latest research on academic performance and poverty – suggesting the poorest students in high performing countries can outperform the richest in the UK and which featured a quote saying the report ‘debunks the myth that poverty is destiny’ – with interest that turned to concern. Continue reading


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Well-informed parents – key to banishing the vocational versus academic divide?

NFER welcomes recent reports from the Edge Foundation and the Association of Colleges on the complex and massively important areas of vocational education and careers guidance. The findings come as a timely reminder of the work yet to be done to ensure that academic and vocational routes to work are perceived to be equally important, useful and valid by all. Continue reading


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Engagement in learning: some knotty questions

A recent report published by Impetus: Private Equity Foundation said:

Key to preventing NEET status is developing our understanding of who is at risk and why. Asking difficult questions about what leads some young people to drop out of education and employment can lead us to difficult answers; but we have to confront the truth about these knotty issues.’(pg7) Continue reading


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Evidence in education – a lever for professional autonomy?

‘We need teachers, not civil servants to lead the teaching profession’. This was one particularly memorable quote from an event that the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) hosted last week with the Coalition for Evidence-based Education (CEBE): ‘Linking evidence and practice: what works? What next? Continue reading