The NFER blog

Evidence for excellence in education


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Putting staff engagement at the heart of school leadership

By David Weston

NFER has shown that engaging staff lies at the heart of retaining them but how do school leaders put that into action? The report suggests that there a number of aspects of staff engagement that are particularly  associated with staff retention, including job satisfaction, having adequate resources, reward and recognition, and being well-supported by management. Continue reading


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Is evidence good for absolutely nothing?

By Ben Durbin

“What is evidence good for?  Absolutely nothing!”  This was one of the memorable moments from Campbell Collaboration CEO Howard White’s opening speech at the What Works Global Summit this week (quickly followed by the qualification: “Unless it gets into policy and practice”) Continue reading


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Despite the headlines, Reception Baseline Assessment continues to get DfE funding in 2016

By Catherine Kirkup

If, like many education professionals, you’ve barely had more than a few moments to skim recent media headlines, you’d be forgiven for believing that the ‘controversial’ baseline assessments have been withdrawn. The reality is, however, that reception baseline assessments have not been scrapped. Continue reading


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The primary consideration ‘should’ be the best interests of the young person

By Tami McCrone

As the election debates stagger on I find it interesting that there is so little focus on young people and preparing them for the challenging world of work ahead of them. I accept that I am an education researcher (so have quite an interest in this area) but it seems to me that the future of our country relies heavily on them. When I’m sitting in my rocking chair in years to come I want to be sure that our country’s economy, defence, health service (and education system) are in good hands.

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Unlocking the bike shed

By Claire Hodgson

Learning to ride a bicycle can be a developmental milestone for some children, offering them a way to gain independence and freedom. There are many appeals of cycling – bicycles “use no fossil energy, deliver important health benefits … and provide an affordable and seamless door-to-door mobility service”[1]. However, cyclists are also vulnerable road users. In the UK, the risk of someone who cycles being killed or seriously injured is reported to be highest for young cyclists aged 10-15 years.
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