The NFER blog

Evidence for excellence in education


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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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Subtracting calculators from maths tests doesn’t add up

By Oliver Stacey

There is considerable debate among teachers and policy makers about the appropriate role of calculators in primary school maths. Recent research at NFER looking at primary maths assessments challenges some of these conventionally held views on the impact of calculators in primary schools. Continue reading


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Our ‘world class’ science education performs a rare hat trick – reform with caution

England Joins the Elite for Maths and Science; this was the headline of a TES article in 2008English pupils reportedly ‘pulled off a stunning result in the rankings of 10 and 14 year olds across 59 countries’ in the international Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Continue reading