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Seminar by Professor Tim Oates (Cambridge Assessment) 'Why should we care about what children think? Using assessment gain insights into the mental life of children'

Assessment is a highly controversial topic – from GCSE standards to the phonics check. Assessment in England is dominated by the uses to which we put the results. But processes matter, as well as the data.

In Wroxham School, primary school pupils present to their parents what they have learned as the core of parental consultation meetings. In schools only a few miles away, National Curriculum Levels continue to be the focus of parental consultations. In Michaela Community School, the pupils complete at home a range of daily subject-based tests. Such dense and frequent assessment would be considered anathema by other schools. This lecture will consider issues of granularity, analysis and precision in assessment - looking particularly at the purpose of assessment. It will draw on international comparative analysis of approaches to assessment as well as experimental work on radical new models in England. This seminar will be recorded

Event details


Tim Oates is Group Director of Assessment Research and Development at Cambridge Assessment, focussing on national and international research on assessment and measurement. More recently, he has undertaken wide-ranging international comparison of the performance of education systems, and advised OECD on its curriculum review work. In 2010 he published  ‘Could do better’ which laid down the principles for the review of the National Curriculum in England. From 2010-2013, he was chair of the Expert Panel for Review of the National Curriculum. He has published widely on assessment and curriculum. He was a member of Ofqual’s Standards Advisory Group from 2010-16; he recently has moved from this group to the Ofqual Vocational Standards Advisory Group. Tim routinely provides briefings and advice to UK and other governments. He is a visiting professor at the University of Leeds and a Fellow of Churchill College Cambridge. In 2015 he was awarded a CBE for services to education.

A recording of this seminar can be found on the Student Intranet, under Postgraduate Research - Research Training and Skills - College Level Seminar Recordings


Baring Court 114