Recent Reports and Chapters

The Good Teacher Training Guide 2017, Buckingham: CEER, April 2017.
Shortfalls in teacher supply are a continuing concern, but the new school-based teacher training system holds out hope. Those trained in schools are more likely to become teachers, 40% of the provision is graded as outstanding, and the trainees come from a wide cross-section of society. Cambridge University is the pre-eminent provider, but eight of the other top ten places are taken by schools.
Where Next for Apprenticeships 2016, CIPD, August 2016.
In a policy report of the Chartered Institute for Personnel Development edited by Tess Lanning, Alan Smithers argues that the introduction of national apprenticeship qualifications would turn the government’s hopes for the new apprenticeships into reality.
The Good Teacher Training Guide 2015, Buckingham: CEER, March 2016.
The latest education White Paper confirms the Government’s intention to move towards a school-led ITT system and announced that it would give greater certainty to the best providers. The latest GTTG provides the first quantitative evidence on how the new School Direct routes are faring. It also shows how quality can be systematically assessed and identifies the best performers.

Social Disadvantage and Widening Access to Universities
, Buckingham: CEER, November 2015.
It has become a political imperative to get more students from disadvantaged backgrounds into university. The challenge is that this goes against the grain of the evidence on student performance. Females, those from higher income backgrounds, those who are white, and those from more affluent neighbourhoods gain proportionally more good degrees. Minority ethnic pupils are both more likely to be admitted to university and do less well there. Universities face a dilemma. If they stick to offering places on merit the Government’s aims are unlikely to be realised, but if they comply then they will struggle to keep up their degree standards.

HEFCE’s Blunder
, Buckingham: CEER, November 2015.
HEFCE made a crucial error in its latest report on degree outcomes. In Issues Paper 2015/21 it said that 82 per cent of graduates getting firsts or upper-seconds in 2013-14 came from state schools compared with 73 per cent from independent schools. HEFCE’s Blunder reveals that, in fact, the reverse was the case. Although HEFCE has changed some of the figures in the report itself, it has not publicly corrected the misinformation. It also still claims that students from state school were four percentage points ahead rather than nine points behind.

The Coalition Effect, 2010-15
edited by Anthony Seldon and Mike Finn, Cambridge University Press, pages 257-289, March 2015.
The government rushed to unsettling reforms of education, but was given an ‘easy ride’ by Labour. Michael Gove’s departure left a lot of unfinished business on academies, qualifications, apprenticeships and fair funding. A new Conservative-led government is very likely to see these through. But what Labour would do is far from clear since so far it has offered only bits and pieces.

The Ins and Outs of Selective Secondary Schools,
London: Civitas, pages 194-205, March 2015.
There has to be selection in education since people differ greatly in their talents, interests and aspirations. Fifteen would be a good age allowing for an array of interconnected three-year pathways across the academic and occupational.

A-Levels 1951-2014,
Buckingham: CEER, August 2014.
The past few years have been a brief lull between thirty years of rising grades and the upheaval to come. In 2014 there was little change in grades, but major shifts in the pattern of entries. Maths was up, overtaking English as the most frequently taken A-level, but physics was down. French and German continued to give way to Spanish and community languages like Polish, Urdu and Portuguese. Girls were ahead in 23 of the 36 subjects, but more of the boys achieved the highest grade.

GCSE Trends 1988-2014,
Buckingham: CEER, August 2014.
Remarkably all the changes had little effect on the grades overall. The pass rate in maths was up, down in English, and much the same elsewhere. If the exams were tougher and the marks lower, the grades must have been adjusted to keep them similar. There is something about GCSEs that suits girls: they were ahead in 46 of the 48 subjects. There were the first signs of another swing away from the separate sciences, and the sorry state of French and German continued. The EBacc appeared to be having less effect than might have been anticipated.

The Science and Mathematics Teaching Workforce,
London: The Royal Society, June 2014.
Teacher provision in the physical sciences and mathematics has been a long-standing and deep-seated problem in many countries. As part of its Vision for Science and Mathematics Education project, The Royal Society commissioned CEER to review provision in England, the UK, and worldwide.

The Good Teacher Training Guide 2013,
Buckingham: CEER, January 2014.
Switching teacher training from the universities to schools is one of the biggest and most controversial of the government’s education reforms. The universities have cried foul and predicted disaster. But what is the evidence?

Confusion in the Ranks,
London: The Sutton Trust, February 2013.
Countries are increasingly comparing themselves in education league tables. But how is it that England can be 27th and sixth at the same time? Confusion in the Ranks explains.

14-18 A New Vision for Secondary Education,
London: Bloomsbury, January 2013.
Education in England lacks a clear shape. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the final years of secondary schooling. Raising the participation age to 18 creates the opportunity to design an array of academic, practical, creative and occupational pathways to take people forward to university, training, employment and future lives.
Educating the Highly Able, London: The Sutton Trust, July 2012.
England lags far behind other countries in educating the brightest. A first step would be to hold schools to account for the progress of the highly able. Current measures are pitched at the lowest and middling performers. Other countries bring together the brightest. The raising of the participation age provides an opportunity to create an array of pathways post 14 on the model of the university technical colleges.
Choice And Selection In School Admissions: The Experience of Other Countries, London: The Sutton Trust, November 2010.
Proposes a radical solution to bring England into line with best international practice: undertake national examinations at age 14, instead of age 16, and offer pupils an array of distinct and credible educational routes thereafter.
Worlds Apart: Social Variation Among Schools, London: The Sutton Trust, April 2010.
Comprehensive schools in England are highly socially segregated and the main reason for this is their admissions and selection processes rather than their location. The country’s leading comprehensive schools are more socially exclusive than the remaining grammar schools.


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