The NFER blog

Evidence for excellence in education


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researchED 2015 – factchecking claims isn’t just about accuracy

By Amy Sippitt, Education Lead at Full Fact.

At the ITV general election leaders’ debate back in April, Nick Clegg claimed:

“If we want to make sure that our own youngsters get the jobs…we’ve got to train them up. Over the last five years we’ve got two million more people starting apprenticeships”.

He’s right that there was an increase of two million, but these new apprentices don’t necessarily represent better qualified youngsters. Look at the breakdown of the data and the biggest increase in starts was for those over 25, who made up 4 in 10 of the new starts. In other words—apprenticeship starts for the over 25s more than tripled, while starts for the under 19s increased by 3%. Continue reading


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ResearchED 2015 – Working out what works

By Ben Durbin

In his opening address at the third of his national conferences bringing together over 860 teachers, researchers, and policymakers, Tom Bennett compared ResearchED to his young toddler. Both born at a similar time in 2013, each seems to have a mind of its own and to grow and develop in ways far beyond Tom’s control. Continue reading