The NFER blog

Evidence for excellence in education


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International school spending – how does the UK compare?

By Maire Williams

Over the last six months, school funding has been an almost constant feature in policy debate, from the proposed introduction of a National Funding Formula to the longer running cuts and freezes schools are facing to their budgets. However, far less has been said on how the UK compares internationally. While there are obviously some ‘health warnings’ around comparing international data, including recognising that different countries may be pursuing different priorities, international comparisons can still give us insight into how outcomes vary (or don’t vary) with expenditure.  Continue reading


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TIMSS and PISA results: Seeing past the headlines

By Ben Durbin

This blog post first appeared on the IEA blog.

Education research does not often make newspaper headlines. Even less often does it make headlines in multiple countries around the world. In just a few weeks time we will see a rare exception. Continue reading


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Key competences and youth engagement – edging towards the Finnish line?

By guest blogger Rose Cook, Researcher

A familiar narrative to followers of educational debates is the Finnish success story. The country has been lauded in particular for its outstanding results in PISA, the OECD’s Programme of International Student Assessment, piquing the interest and envy of its competitor countries. Continue reading