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News Archive

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Faculty hosts Festival of Ideas events

Faculty of Education News
Monday 25 September

This year's Festival of Ideas will take place between 16 and 29 October. The Faculty of Education is honoured to be hosting two events as part of this year's Festival.

'Discourse is no liar' Tuesday 17 October (6:30pm - 8pm)

join Pascual Pérez-Paredes and colleagues for 'Discourse is no liar'. Corpus linguistics can expose discourse ideologies by examining how linguistic items are combined in big sets of data. They will be examining public discourse and how discourse construes ideas and people.

Booking required.

A day of Playful Learning Friday 27 October (10am - 2pm, drop-in)

Aimed at children and their families. Children will have the opportunity to try out fun activities with PEDAL, explore fantasy and fiction with creative writing and see science experiments in action.

No booking required for this event.

Also on Thursday 26 Oct (6pm - 7:30pm) Anna Vignoles, Professor of Education, will be taking part in a panel event: 'Does Education Improve Social Mobility?'. This is a Question Time style event giving people the opportunity to discuss schools' role in reducing inequality and improving social mobility.

Booking required.

For more information, email Eve Berwin (

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Welcome to PhD students from Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education

Faculty of Education News
Monday 25 September

The Education Reform and Innovation Team is delighted to welcome eight PhD students from Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education who will be visiting the Faculty for six weeks.

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Graduate and PGCE Open Day

Prospective students talking in Faculty garden
Thursday 21 September
The Faculty of Education is delighted to welcome prospective applicants to a Graduate and PGCE Open Day, taking place on Friday 3 November as part of the University's main Graduate Open Day.
Visitors will have the opportunity to look round the
Faculty, to attend course presentations and to speak to members of the Faculty's teaching teams.
Find out more.

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Memorial service for Professor Christopher Colclough

Chris Colcough
Tuesday 12 September
A memorial service for Professor Christopher Colclough will be held at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge at 2.30pm on Friday 3rd November 2017, followed by tea in the Master's Lodge. All are welcome. 

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Faculty of Education Instagram account launched

Logo Faculty of Education University of Cambridge
Tuesday 22 August
We are delighted to launch the Faculty of Education Instagram account. We will be sharing photos and videos of Faculty life, featuring many of the Faculty's hidden treasures.

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British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for Dr Sriprakash

Arathi Sriprakash
Thursday 17 August
The British Academy awards Mid-Career Fellowships to outstanding researchers who will promote public understanding and engagement in the humanities and social sciences. Mid-Career Fellows are recognised as excellent communicators and 'champions' in their field, as well as for their distinguished publication record.

Arathi Sriprakash's project is called 'The contested science of education and international development: concepts and politics in Indian schooling, 1947-1968'. It examines the politics of knowledge in education and international development. Focusing on mass primary education in India, she will trace how scientific knowledge about schooling and society was produced, circulated, and legitimised in the two decades after Indian independence.
Further information

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Faculty and Black History Month

Teacher with Primary school child
Monday 14 August
As the country's number one teacher training provider (Good Teacher Training Guide 2017), we really value the importance of top calibre teachers who reflect the diversity of society.
We are therefore extremely proud to be working with the fantastic Black History Month to promote diversity in the teaching profession.

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PGCE course videos released

Cambridge PGCE video clip
Thursday 10 August
We are delighted to be releasing a whole new range of PGCE course videos. The videos feature PGCE trainees and Newly Qualified Teachers discussing their reasons for choosing the Cambridge PGCE and their experiences on the course.
We will be releasing the videos one by one on Facebook and Twitter, but you can also find them all on YouTube now.

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TES interview - Migrant Children in our Education System

Madeleine Arnot, Jesus College
Monday 7 August
Faculty's Professor Madeleine Arnot, co-covenor of the Cambridge Migration Research Network and a member of The Cambridge EAL (English as an Additional Language) Research Programme (EAlead) in the Faculty of Education talks with the TES concerning the need to develop systemic understandings about how schools can address our
migrant children's unique cultural and social needs - and how migrant communities can be valued and empowered.
Outline features towards an integrated approach include:

  1. A national joined-up strategy for integrating migrant children into the education system - one which offers a holistic approach addressing their diversity

  2. The Cambridge team developed an 'Educational Triangle' on school achievement, social inclusion and English language development which could be used by schools to assess their effectiveness linking these various elements.

  3. International models of credited supplementary initial teacher training which involve a placement with migrant communities enhances recognition of their needs and values.

  4. Schools need to empower migrant parents by developing more effective communication systems and encouraging involvement in school governance.

Full TES interview

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Are there consequences from indecision in career choices?

Ricardo Sabates
Tuesday 1 August
New research by Dr Ricardo Sabates and his colleagues Dr Leslie Gutman and Professor Ingrid Schoon (from UCL Institute of Education) explore the role of uncertainty in career choices and future consequences in terms of potential wage penalties.

The research funded by ESRC has been published as a research note in the Longitudinal and Life Course Studies.

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Learning and Assessment - a Special Focus

Journal Cover
Monday 31 July
Expert contributions make up this Summer’s special issue of Journal Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice, and offer a valuable range of views on the intersection of assessment and learning theories. Included is an article by Professor Mary James, formerly of our Faculty.

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Professor Anna Vignoles elected to the British Academy

Anna Vignoles
Tuesday 25 July
Our congratulations go to Professor Anna Vignoles who has just been elected to the British Academy in recognition of her contribution to education research.
Further details.

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New Undergraduate course video launched

Two Education Undergraduate interviewees
Monday 24 July
The Undergraduate Education course at Cambridge is a truly unique, interdisciplinary degree... but we know that not everyone knows about the course.

This new video, "Education: the Cambridge degree you've probably never heard of", challenges people to find out more about what the course is really all about.

The video features some of our current students talking about the diverse nature of the Education course and about some of their favourite lecture topics.

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Professor Christopher Colclough

Chris Colclough
Tuesday 4 July
It is with immense sadness that the Faculty has learned of the death of our friend and colleague Professor Christopher Colclough, following a period of illness.  Chris retired from the Faculty in 2013, eight years after his election as Commonwealth Professor of Education and International Development and appointment as the Director of then newly established Centre for Commonwealth Education, latterly the Centre for Education and International Development (2008-14). He was successively Fellow and Life Fellow of Corpus Christi College where, in 1971, he had completed his doctorate in Economics.

Faculty of Education obituary.

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UK educators and young people who recently experienced terror

Global Education Refugee Movement
Thursday 29 June
Dr Hilary Cremin will be welcoming teachers and academic colleagues from Uganda and Birmingham next week (from 3rd July 2017), as part of a research and development project focusing on the education needs of young refugees.

This project has been funded by the Cambridge Africa Alborada Fund. It brings together teachers working with young people in Holte Secondary School in Birmingham and Panyadoli Secondary School in Kiryandongo District, Uganda.

Full details at the Faculty academic group: Education, Equality and Development

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Our Research Students’ Community: New Instagram account

3 Students holding placard
Monday 26 June
The Faculty of Education Research Students' Association (FERSA) has launched an Instagram account. In the coming months, FERSA will be sharing images and stories about graduate life at the Faculty and in Cambridge, so stay tuned!

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New REAL Centre research programme on education systems in Ethiopia

Faculty of Education News
Monday 19 June
The REAL Centre is delighted to announce the launch of a new research programme: Raising Learning Outcomes for All through Education System Research in Ethiopia. On 12-13 June, members of the REAL Centre team welcomed collaborators from Ethiopia (the Ethiopian Development Research Institute and Addis Ababa University) and internationally, to the Faculty for their inception meeting.

Part of the DFID-funded Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) programme, the large-scale research programme of around £4 million over five years will aim to assess rigorously the implementation and impact of activities associated with a major education quality reform programme in Ethiopia, with a focus on the most disadvantaged.

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Agreement with Peking University

Signing the agreement
Thursday 15 June
The Education Reform and Innovation (ERI) Team were pleased to welcome a delegation from Peking University headed by Mr Rundong Yang, the Deputy Director of the China Center for Strategic Studies, to the Faculty on Monday 12th June. They visited to discuss and sign an agreement relating to the first phase of the development of an early years centre at Peking University. The visit was a great success and ERI are looking forward to starting the work with Peking University with an initial scoping visit in July.

Later in the year, a larger delegation from Peking will visit Cambridge to exchange ideas about early years education and see it in action, before a return visit by our team to gain an understanding of the status of early years education in Beijing and China as a whole. It is hoped that this will be the start of a long-term partnership to support Peking University in this key area.

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First LEGO Professor of Play in Education, Development and Learning

Professor Paul Ramchandani
Friday 26 May

The University of Cambridge has appointed a world-leading researcher as the first LEGO Professor of Play in Education, Development and Learning.

The Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL) was established in 2015 with a £4 million grant from the LEGO Foundation which also funded the leadership role which will be taken up by Professor Paul Ramchandani.

Read more about the first LEGO Professor of Play in Education, Development and Learning from the University of Cambridge.

BBC Article

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Faculty student wins BAICE Student Essay Prize 2017

Peter Sutoris
Tuesday 23 May

Congratulations to Peter Sutoris, a Gates Scholar and EED (Culture, Politics and Global Justice) student for winning the BAICE Student Essay prize 2017.

Peter is supervised by Dr Jo-Anne Dillabough and his thesis is entitled: Ethically scaling up interventions in educational development.

Congratulations Peter!

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Success for our colleagues in CUSU Student Led Teaching Awards

Faculty of Education News
Monday 22 May
Congratulations to four Faculty of Education colleagues who were shortlisted in this year’s Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU) Student Led Teaching Awards, across four different categories. This is an outstanding achievement for the individuals, and also demonstrates the high levels of student satisfaction across the Faculty.

We are delighted that two of our shortlisted colleagues, Georgina Horrell and Lottie Hoare, were awarded Commendations at the awards ceremony. This is a real testament to the dedication both Georgina and Lottie have for their teaching, and the extremely positive impact this has on their students.

All shortlisted colleagues from across the University were invited to a prestigious awards ceremony on 9 May, hosted by the students themselves and opening with an address from Professor Graham Virgo, the University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education.
Further Information and photos

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Faculty's first Doctor of Education graduate - an Assistant Head

Caroline Creaby
Tuesday 2 May
Congratulations to Dr Caroline Creaby who graduated on Saturday and is our first ever EdD graduate.

Caroline is an Assistant Headteacher at Sandringham School and will continue to work with the
Faculty in her role as leader of the Research Schools at Sandringham.

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Dr Jo-Anne Dillabough shortlisted in CUSU Student -Led Teaching Awards

Faculty of Education News
Friday 28 April

Sociology of Education, Lecturer, Dr Jo-Anne Dillabough, has been shortlisted for the Cambridge University Student Union Student-Led Teaching Awards, under the classification of Teaching and Student Support.

Dr Dillabough is a Reader in the Sociology of Education and the Sociology of Young People and Global Cultures. She has also held the prestigious David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education (UBC).

CUSU received over 600 nominations in this year’s competition. The shortlisting of these awards are determined solely by students seeking to recognise ‘outstanding teaching and student support’ across Cambridge University.

This competition provides an independent assessment of a University of Cambridge colleague’s contribution to student experience, allowing students to nominate the staff and faculty they feel are most deserving of the CUSU based honour.

Final awards are announced on 9 May 2017.

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REAL Centre evidence in International Development Committee’s report on Education

Faculty of Education News
Friday 28 April

Oral and written evidence from the REAL Centre has been drawn on by the UK International Development Committee (cross-party committee of MPs).

In a letter to the Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel MP, published yesterday in lieu of a final report due to the upcoming election, the Committee highlights the importance of increasing investment in education to ensure no one is left behind.

Professor Pauline Rose, on behalf of the REAL Centre, joined other expert witnesses during the Committee’s enquiry on education. Drawing on evidence from the REAL Centre’s work, she highlighted the critical issue of investing in early years education in order for disadvantaged children and young people to realise their potential in adulthood.

Professor Rose was quoted in the letter as saying,"the evidence is quite clear that an early childhood development programme makes a huge difference to their readiness to learn once they are in school and has greater benefits once they go through the system, particularly for the most marginalised ".

Drawing on the REAL Centre’s Teaching Effectively All Children research programme, Professor Rose was also cited as arguing that efforts should be on ensuring the most disadvantaged " have the best teachers, the most qualified teachers and teachers who have been given training in how to teach basic literacy and numeracy ". She also emphasised the need for teachers to be trained in inclusive teaching practices, to ensure they can deal with diverse groups of children in the classroom and ensure children are not left behind once they reach the classroom, including those with disabilities.

The IDC letter further highlighted the REAL Centre’s attention to focusing on the transition from primary to secondary school, where there are large numbers of dropouts and on the most marginalised children, particularly girls and those with disabilities. The REAL Centre is currently working with Camfed to assess Value for Money with an equity lens in its girls’ education programme in Tanzania, a programme which the Committee recognised as achieving unprecedented learning outcomes among the most marginalized girls.

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Playful approaches relevant to learning in all age groups

Sara Baker
Thursday 27 April
Dr Sara Baker was interviewed in the UK publication ’TES talks to…’ on 31 March. She discussed how playful approaches are relevant to learning in all age groups, not just younger children.
In her team’s current work with teachers as co-researchers, they are exploring the challenges and opportunities that teachers face in adopting child-led approaches to early science. Teachers themselves are experimenting playfully with their own learning.

See also PEDAL - located at the Faculty and launched in October 2015 with funding from the LEGO Foundation. Its mission is to conduct academic research into the role of play in young children’s education, development and learning to inform wider practice and policy.

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Our PGCE ranked No.1 teacher training course

Male teacher with Primary school children
Monday 24 April
The Faculty is very proud to have been ranked as the top teacher training provider in England in the latest Good Teacher Training Guide.
Full article | Study Education @CamEdFac

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Research by Ben Alcott tops BBC Education

Faculty of Education News
Wednesday 29 March

Research by Faculty Academic Dr Ben Alcott and covered by made the top article on the BBC Education website yesterday.

The article Teacher encouragement 'gives pupils long-term boost' written by BBC Education Reporter Judith Burns reports on a study of more than 4,000 students in England.

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Education leads 2017 Boat Race crews

Lance Tredell, Ashton Brown, Anna Dawson Boat Race 2017 Faculty of Education
Tuesday 28 March
It must be very rare that both the men's and women's 2017 Cambridge University Boat Club Presidents are studying at the same Faculty - this year, it's Education. Lance Tredell is studying for an MPhil (Educational Leadership and School Improvement); Ashton Brown is working for her PhD (statistical modelling of children's skill development) while Anna Dawson, another MPhil (Psychology and Education) student, also has a seat in the women's boat.

The influence of Lance's MPhil is evident when he says that leadership in rowing comes not just from him as President but from all the crew and team members. Lance stroked Cambridge to victory last year, and we hope his winning influence continues in 2017.

Congratulations to Lance, Ashton and Anna on successfully juggling arduous training and graduate study all year to be selected to row for Cambridge, and good luck to all the crews for the races on Sunday 2nd April.

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Faculty Education Reform and Innovation: Niger State delegation visit the Faculty

Niger State delegation and Colleen McLaughlin at the Faculty of Education
Tuesday 21 March

The Faculty Education Reform and Innovation team along with the Judge Business School were very pleased to receive a delegation from Niger State to discuss Phase 2 of a project on improving education in the state.

The Niger delegation were led by the Governor, His Excellency Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello and included the Honourable Commissioner for Education and the Permanent Secretary.

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Our Graduate Community Launches Blog

Handheld device and book
Monday 20 March
The Faculty of Education Research Students' Association (FERSA) has launched a new blog. The blog contains a wide variety of contributions, ranging from poetry and animation to posts about digital tools, Education books, and research reflection.

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Play Improving Children’s Writing Skills - Interview on BBC TV

David Whitebread interview on BBC TV
Tuesday 7 March
Dr David Whitebread talks on UK national TV about research into playful approaches improving children's writing skills.
A link to the free handbook for teachers he refers to can be found at the Faculty of Education PLaNS Project site.

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Free Playful Writing Handbook for Teachers

Book cover
Tuesday 28 February
Primary school teachers in the UK are charged with stimulating and supporting children's writing throughout KS1 and 2 - but some children can struggle to harness their creativity and communication skills.

Led by PEDAL's Dr David Whitebread and Dr Marisol Basilio, PLaNS (Play, Learning and Narrative Skills) was a research project designed to investigate if playful approaches to children's writing and storytelling are beneficial. Using LEGO bricks, and aimed at 5-10 year olds over the course of a year, primary school teachers worked with academics to develop playful activities to inspire and improve written and oral narratives. Participating children were evaluated at the beginning and end of the project, to measure the impact on writing, oral narrative skills, self-regulation, vocabulary and creativity. Teachers were also encouraged to reflect on what they learnt from the project.

To see what happened, there is a video of the project and to try out some of these ideas in your classroom, there is a FREE downloadable handbook for teachers.

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Opportunity for Year 12s to find out more about Education, Psychology and Learning

Faculty of Education News
Friday 17 February

On 7 April, Year 12 students will have the opportunity to come to Cambridge for a day of lectures providing them with a taste of the Undergraduate Education, Psychology and Learning track.

Subject Masterclasses are subject-specific events that offer students a flavour of undergraduate study and an introduction to the University of Cambridge.

Aimed at academically able Year 12 students from any school/college, the Education, Psychology and Learning Masterclasses will provide students with an opportunity to explore the subject and experience typical undergraduate teaching.

Find out more and book your place now.

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EAL Assessment Framework for Schools Launched

Faculty of Education News
Wednesday 15 February

The Department for Education (DfE) now requires schools in England annually to report the levels of proficiency in English of all EAL pupils using a five-point scale. But currently there is no national assessment framework that can be used for both diagnostic and on-going formative assessment.

Commissioned by the Bell Foundation, the EAL Assessment Framework for Schools is the first of its kind in England which is designed to achieve these dual purposes and align with the DfE screener. Developed by a team of researchers at King’s College London and Cambridge University, involving the Faculty’s Michael Evans and Yongcan Liu, the Framework is informed by rigorous research based on a corpus of teacher comparative judgements. At its core are two sets of EAL assessment descriptors (one set for primary and one set for secondary).

The Framework is made available free of charge to all schools, local authorities and professional organisations in England and free for download to support teaching, learning, planning and monitoring in schools.

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Seminar: Lucy Lake, CEO, Camfed - Camfed's experience in positioning data to inform programming

Lent Seminar listing
Tuesday 14 February
The REAL Centre welcomes you to join us for a seminar with Lucy Lake, CEO, Camfed.

Date: Tuesday 21 February

Location: Faculty of Education, Donald McIntyre Building, GS1;

Title: Camfed's experience in positioning data to inform programming.

All welcome - please join us for the presentation and QandA from 13:00 to 14:30.

See for further information.

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The Education Commission's #Learning Generation: Putting Evidence to Work presentation and discussion is available to watch online

Education Commission report
Thursday 2 February
On Friday 27 January the REAL Centre hosted a presentation and discussion on the Education Commission's #LearningGeneration: Putting Evidence to Work.

If you were unable to attend, the event is now available online by clicking here.

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Vice-Chancellor’s statement on US travel ban

Sir Leszek Borysiewicz
Tuesday 31 January
"The executive order issued by the United States government is an affront to one of the most fundamental human freedoms," says Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, "As the head of a university whose staff is actively engaged in research collaborations around the world, I cannot accept a policy that undermines academic freedom, disrupts partnerships, and blocks the pathways to understanding between peoples, faiths and nations.
As the son of a family of refugees welcomed by Britain after the Second World War, I abhor a discriminatory policy that further endangers the lives of people who have fled conflict and sought sanctuary elsewhere...
...While we acknowledge that a country must have the right to manage its own borders, this ban is fundamentally at odds with the values of openness, tolerance and evidence-based decision-making that the University of Cambridge stands for."
Full Statement.

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Brain research shows reading enhances children's development

Poster details
Monday 30 January
This exciting PPD event details how recent findings within brain research show that reading, in particular reading fiction, is beneficial for children's cognitive, emotional and social development.

The Reading for Learning conference will include talks by Professor Maria Nikolajeva on reading for learning, Dr Zoe Jaques on reading animals, Dr Aneesh Barai on nature in Disney, and will finish with a hands-on workshop on using picture-books in the classroom.

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House of Commons Education Committee - Primary Assessment Inquiry

Mary James
Monday 23 January
Professor Mary James, former Faculty Associate Director of Research, contributed oral evidence to the inquiry into primary assessment, at the House of Commons Education Committee on  18 January 2017.

View the event and Mary’s contribution starting at about
10.48 in the two panel sessions.

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Education access problem ‘is poverty' (Times Higher Education)

Girls playing
Monday 23 January
According to a study, which featured in the Times Higher Education, by Sonia Ilie and Pauline Rose, inequalities in access to higher education are far wider for poverty than those regarding gender.
'We need to keep on focusing on gender inequalities, but it is clear that the gaps in educational outcomes are far larger when you compare different income groups,' Dr Ilie told Times Higher Education.

The full article is available on the Times Higher Education website.

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The Education Commission: #LearningGeneration: Putting Evidence to Work

Learning Generation report
Monday 23 January
FRIDAY 27 JANUARY, 11:00am-12:30pm

The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (The Education Commission) was set up in 2015 to reinvigorate the case for investing in education and ensure all children and young people have the opportunity to gain the skills they need for adulthood and work in the 21st century. Chaired by Gordon Brown, the Commission brings together an illustrious group of leaders including former heads of state and government, Nobel Laureates, leaders from business, economics, health, education and other sectors. In September 2016, The Commission launched a bold, evidence-based plan to create the Learning Generation. Drawing on the world's best research and policy analysis, the Learning Generation report sets out an agenda for action to get all young people into school and learning within a generation to create the largest expansion of educational opportunity in history.

Presentation from: Liesbet Steer, Director of Research of the Education Commission.

Discussants will respond to the key recommendations of the Learning Generation report:
Luis Benveniste, Practice Manager Education, Global Engagement and Knowledge, World Bank

Rachel Hinton, Head, Education and Research Team, Department for International Development

Olav Seim, Policy Director Education, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Moderator: Pauline Rose, REAL Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge


Donald McIntyre Building, Faculty of Education, 184 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8PQ, Room GS5.

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Universities must contribute to fighting inequality

University students graduating
Tuesday 17 January
REAL Centre PhD student, Arif Naveed writes, in the University World News, that there is substantial evidence indicating how mass expansion of higher education widens socio-economic inequalities, benefiting those who are already privileged, at least in the short term.

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LEGO Professor of Play! - Apply by 20th Jan

PEDAL logo
Tuesday 17 January
Our Faculty’s PEDAL Centre (Play in Educational Development and Learning) will be research home to the world’s first professor of play – funded by LEGO.

The University of Cambridge Primary School also has established research, professional learning and partnership projects with LEGO and PEDAL.

The LEGO Foundation chose Cambridge because of its interdisciplinary approach to play research and its expertise and credibility when communicating research to policymakers and practitioners.
Further details:

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Cognitive Framing and Its Theoretical Implications for Tuition Fee Policies in England

Monday 16 January
Ben Alcott's work-in-progress paper "Cognitive Framing and Its Theoretical Implications for Tuition Fee Policies in England" is published on

Ben Alcott's new paper has been added to the Faculty's working papers site as part of an ongoing effort to encourage the sharing of work-in-progress. Read Ben's work online now! Colleagues interested in submitting their own work should contact Sue Brindley or Lucian Stephenson.

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Hilary Cremin Awarded Guest Professorship at the University of Innsbruck

University of Innsbruck logo
Thursday 12 January
Hilary Cremin has been awarded the Leopold-Franzens-Universitat Innsbruck (LFUI) Guest Professorship for 2017. This competitive award aims to promote top-level international scientific and didactic exchange.

Dr Cremin will be hosted by the Faculty of Political and Social Science at the beginning of February 2017, and will present a public lecture entitled: Violence in Schools: Challenges for Europe and beyond.

She will also be developing a module with the UNESCO chair of Peace Studies entitled: Using ECT Methodology with schools and young people

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Faculty of Education student captains University Challenge team

Bobby Seagull and Jeremy Paxman
Monday 9 January
You might recognise Bobby Seagull from his successful appearances captaining Emmanuel College, Cambridge on University Challenge recently. He won audiences over with his vast knowledge, his sense of humour, and perhaps most importantly... his extremely memorable name!

Bobby completed a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, between 2014 and 2015. Since then, he has taken up a teaching post in London and has chosen to study this year for a part-time Masters in Education (MEd) at the Faculty of Education, alongside his teaching.

Our Schools Liaison Coordinator, Eve, speaks to Bobby about his experiences as a teacher and about why he chose to train with the University of Cambridge.
For more information about the Faculty's outreach work, please contact Eve Berwin at

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Making the Case for the Social Sciences – Education

Book cover
Thursday 15 December
Launched in the UK House of Commons early December 2016, this BERA/Routledge publication comprises 12 case studies that have led to improvements in learning and teaching practices.

Studies by both Faculty Professor Anna Vignoles and the Cambridge Primary Review Trust feature within it.

Analyses in the booklet also demonstrate the positive impacts of social science and educational research on public policy, while highlighting its benefit to society more generally.

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Now published - the links between Family Background and University Success

Book cover
Monday 12 December
Anna Vignoles launched a new book - Family Background and University Success, published by Oxford University Press, detailing the strong links between students' socio economic background and university participation and achievement. Key findings can be found at

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A first of its kind involving Ukraine scholars in Cambridge

Faculty of Education News
Thursday 1 December
Nov 28 - Dec 2nd 2016, our Education Innovation and Reform Team hosts a visit of 13 scholars from 2 displaced* universities in Ukraine. The two universities visiting Cambridge are Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University (VDEUNU) relocated to Severodonetsk and Luhansk Taras Shevchenko National University (LTSNU) relocated to Starobilsk. The membership of the Ukrainian delegation consists of 2 University Rectors, 8 university staff, 2 students and a Head of the Institute of Higher Education National Academy of Educational Sciences.

The visit is funded by the British Council Ukraine Mobility Grant within the framework of the British Council’s Internationalisation of Higher Education Programme. The purpose of the visit is to learn about the best practices in university governance, leadership, education reform and student representation. The programme of the visit will include 4 days of Faculty- and University-based meetings and workshops. The Faculty-based programme will be broadcast via the youtube channel to other Ukrainian universities. More than 30 speakers are invited to contribute to the programme. It is the first programme of its kind and scale involving Ukrainian scholars in Cambridge. Subject to further funding the programme of support for displaced Universities in Cambridge will continue.

* Displaced universities are 16 universities in Ukraine which in 2014 were relocated from the zone of military conflict in eastern Ukraine to the territory under the control of the Ukrainian government.

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Our professional development with the Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education

Faculty of Education News
Tuesday 29 November
On Nov 21-25 2016, the Education Innovation and Reform Team hosted a visit of seven faculty and staff members from Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education (NUGSE).

The purpose of this visit was to attend a professional development programme organised by the Education Innovation and Reform Team focused on strategies and best practices related to managing research activities and running a doctoral programme. Various Faculty of Education faculty members and administrators generously shared their time, knowledge and expertise with the NUGSE visitors.

The Faculty of Education has been involved in a support and advisory role at Nazarbayev University since the first idea of a Graduate School of Education was initiated in 2011. A three-way partnership was subsequently established, with the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education as the third party, to work on the creating of the Graduate School of Education at Nazarbayev University and to engage in joint research and to engage in joint research activity.

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Congratulations to Partnership principal on recent award

Iain Erskine and Cambridge Primary Review
Monday 28 November
Iain Erskine, Executive Principal of Fulbridge Academy in Peterborough, received the Cambridge Primary Review Trust ASCL award for Evidence-informed leadership at the Trust's conference in November. The award recognises excellent leadership in primary education which supports and develops one or more of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust's priorities.

Iain has been at Fulbridge for over 20 years as teacher, deputy head and headteacher. His creative and immersive approach to learning has seen the school achieve consistently high standards in progress for all groups of children, leading the school from special measures in 2003 to outstanding in 2012. We are delighted that trainees on the Primary PGCE Course here at the Faculty can experience Iain's expert leadership and the unique provision offered at Fulbridge during day visits and extended placements hosted by the school.

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Background Paper - Supporting primary and secondary education for refugees: the role of international financing

Malala Fund Background Paper cover
Wednesday 23 November
Asma Zubairi and Pauline Rose Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre, University of Cambridge have produced a background paper examining the current levels of international support for refugee education.

Commissioned by the Malala Fund, 'Supporting primary and secondary education for refugees: the role of international financing' has been released and is available to read online.

This paper presents how the disrupted education of many children who have been forced to flee conflict and other crises to neighboring countries has meant that their education lags far behind that of their non-refugee peers. It goes on to consider in more detail the experiences of five of the ten largest refugee-hosting countries in the world, and the extent to which children and adolescents have been able to access education, with a particular focus on girls. Lastly the paper considers current trends in international development and humanitarian finance in providing education to refugee children and adolescents in the context of conflict.

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Aurora Indigenous Scholars welcomed at Faculty

Aurora group and Faculty members
Monday 21 November
We were delighted to welcome the Aurora Scholars to our Faculty on Thursday 17th November 2-3pm. The Aurora Indigenous Scholars International Study Tour, now in its fifth year, takes a group of high achieving Australian Indigenous Scholars to visit leading universities in the UK and the US.

Many Indigenous Australians have been accepted to Oxford and/or Cambridge as a direct result of Aurora's work, and 19 out of 19 have successfully completed their postgraduate degrees (10 at Oxford and 9 at Cambridge).

Vincent Backhaus, seen here in the front row, left hand side, is the first Indigenous Australian Cambridge PhD student currently studying at the Faculty.

The purpose of the brief visit was to explore through an academic experience the ethos surrounding academic excellence that an Oxbridge program can provide. The Aurora Scholars were met by Professor Geoff Hayward (Head of Faculty), Australian expat Professor Pam Burnard, shown here with some of her international doctoral students.

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Developments in STEM education - research seminar

STeM seminar group
Thursday 10 November
In response to a request from the Thai Institute responsible for supporting educational development, the Faculty's Science Education, Technology & Education, and Mathematics Education academic group welcomed a group of teachers and teacher educators from Thailand who were looking to learn about the latest research and ideas in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) education.

The Faculty group, supported by some colleagues from Psychology & Education, provided two days in October 2016 of talks on research into aspects of teaching and learning of science and mathematics under the heading "Developments in STEM Education: Research informing teaching and learning in STEM subjects”.

The group were enthusiastic learners and "found the seminar … extremely beneficial" considering that they "gained numerous insights and new ideas that will assist us immensely in STEM Education teaching and learning". The group also noted "the warm and friendly manner in which we were received".

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Decision time in the US

US flag
Tuesday 8 November
As the world awaits the outcome of the US election, seven Cambridge academics, including the Faculty's Professor Neil Mercer, weigh in on the Trump vs Clinton showdown.

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Teenage difficulties portrayed in new graphic novels

book covers
Monday 7 November
Graphic Lives is a series of highly engaging graphic novels. Each story introduces the difficulties faced by a teenage character and follows them as they travel on their therapeutic journey with a skilled and creative therapist.

The key aims of these books are:

  • to demystify counselling and psychotherapy so that it is more appealing and accessible to young people

  • to destigmatise emotional and mental health problems so that young people are better able to accept help

  • to encourage young people to embark upon their own healing journeys, equipped with the sense that there is a way forward

Date of launch: 1st December 2016. Authors: Carol Holliday and Jo Browning Wroe. Illustrations by Bubs Renker and Tim Evans.

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Wild about Learning’ day report 2016

Faculty of Education News
Friday 4 November
This year the Faculty of Education opened its doors once again to families as part of the University’s annual Festival of Ideas.

On Saturday 29th October we welcomed over 150 visitors to the Faculty to discover and learn by exploring the wild, enjoying our playful learning zone and experimenting with art, movement, stories and games.

Read our report on the Wild About Learning Day.

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Cambridge School Classics Project - November update

A male in toga sits at a table writing
Thursday 3 November
It has undeniably been a major task to reconstruct the CSCP site in a form that is resilient and secure, and we appreciate the continued patience and support of the Classics community throughout this period of disruption and change. We are pleased to share that work is progressing well, with the majority of 4th and 5th Edition content now available and plans in place to bring the remaining content online in the coming weeks. The University has committed to the future of the project and absolutely has the capacity to take the project forward, in particular thanks to the commitment of the excellent team at CSCP and CUP.

The University of Cambridge and CUP are fully behind this valuable project, which has just celebrated its 50th anniversary, and are fully committed and have all the necessary resources to develop the project and continue to create and provide high quality learning materials forward into the next 50 years.

For further information please visit the CSCP website.

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Pauline Rose presents at All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Education for All

Speakers at APPG Global Education for All
Wednesday 2 November
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global Education for All convened a meeting on 1 November to discuss key messages from the Education Commission 'Learning Generation' Report. Chaired by Mark Williams MP, and with a focus on financing to leave no one behind, the event was opened by Lord Bates, Minister of State at the Department for International Development. Commissioner Dr Amel Karboul presented key highlights from the Report, with Alice Albright (CEO, Global Partnership for Education) identifying implications for the Global Partnership for Education. Based on background research by the REAL Centre for the Education Commission Report, Pauline Rose highlighted the importance of the Report's message on 'progressive universalism', presenting evidence to show the importance of redistributive tax and spending to achieve this. The event was closed by Tanya Barron, CEO of Plan International UK, representing the Global Campaign for Education UK.

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Our PGCE alumni regularly go on to make a real difference to children's lives in their care

Dr David Moody
Tuesday 25 October
One recent example is Dr David Moody (2005) who has been Head teacher at Harris Academy Battersea for the last two years.

Working with staff members who are also Cambridge PGCE alumni, David has turned the school around and Harris Battersea is now a top school in London in the most recent progress tables published last week.

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REAL Centre contributes to the case for disability-responsive education financing

Monday 24 October
The #CostingEquity Report launched at the UN General Assembly on October 2016 draws on insights emerging from the disability research being undertaken at the Centre.

Dr Nidhi Singal was part of the Steering Group appointed to work on this Report. The blog Loosening the purse strings: financing the education of children with disabilities in India  highlights some of the key issues in this field.

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Festival of Ideas: Wild about Learning!

Young girl in the woods sat down smiling
Friday 14 October
On Saturday 29 October, the Faculty will be opening its doors for a special event as part of this year's Festival of Ideas.

The Faculty of Education has hosted an interactive and educational event for families as part of the Festival of Ideas for a number of years, and we have had wonderful feedback from visitors who have attended past events.

At this year’s event, Wild about Learning!, families will be invited to discover and learn by exploring the wild, enjoying our playful learning zone with PEDAL and experimenting with art, movement stories and games. Artists from Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination will be inviting families to join them in creating new and extraordinary maps as part of their Fantastical Cambridgeshire project.

To find out more about this year's event, please see the Wild About Learning Poster, visit wild-about-learning or email Eve Berwin at

*Key date* - Sat 29 Oct (10am- 2pm on a drop-in basis)

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Multilingualism Research Projects - Websites Go Live!

Faculty of Education News
Friday 14 October

Two exciting multimillion pound projects in Languages involving Faculty staff have launched their websites.

The first is the University of Cambridge led MEITS project (Multilingualism Empowering Individuals Transforming Societies), where six strands across a number of language sciences disciplines and a number of UK universities come together to investigate the potential of multilingualism:

Linda Fisher (strand lead), Michael Evans, Yongcan Liu, PDRAs Karen Forbes and Angela Gayton, and PhD student Harper Staples will work on one strand investigating the influence of multilingual identity on foreign language learning, while Jenny Gibson will work on the benefits of multilingualism for cognition. Linda Fisher is co-investigator on a parallel project with similar funding led by Oxford which will investigate the creative potential of multilingualism.

Both projects are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council with the aim of reinvigorating the discipline of Modern Languages.

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Nidhi Singal presents evidence on Inclusive Quality Education to Council of Europe

Council of Europe building
Thursday 6 October
The Council of Europe Ad hoc Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CAHPDH), comprising of government representatives from all 47 member States, invited Dr Nidhi Singal to present evidence on Inclusive Quality Education at their meeting in Strasbourg on 5th October. The Committee is currently holding discussions on the draft Council of Europe Strategy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2017-2023.

In her presentation, Nidhi drew on insights from research programmes underway at the REAL centre, and set out a six point agenda for action towards developing inclusive equality education systems, underpinned by a focus on Rights, Resources and Research.

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