NIS International Research-to-Practice Conference

Inspirational Speakers

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Keynote Speakers

Tim Oates

Tim Oates is Group Director of Assessment Research and Development at Cambridge Assessment, focussing on national and international research on assessment and measurement.

He has published widely on assessment and curriculum. 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. In 2014, Tim published ‘Why textbooks count’, a study examining the structural role of textbooks in educational reform. This led to national debate and co-ordinated work by publishers, on enhancing both the quality and patterns of use of learning materials. The ‘Cambridge Approach to high quality textbooks and resource materials’ was published in April 2016 and already has been widely used.
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 Fellow of Churchill College Cambridge. In 2015 he was awarded a CBE for services to education.


IX NIS International Research-to-Practice Conference, 26-27 October 2017: Keynote Speech

Balancing ‘Heritage’ and ‘Innovation’ in Policy Development

Many nations rightfully are focussing on innovation of curriculum and assessment in order to improve attainment and equity. It is vital that education provides young people with the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed in a future economy and future society. One significant challenge is attaining an appropriate balance between those things which previously have played a role in ensuring high quality, and new things which will enhance attainment and equity. Research can indeed point to new foci in assessment and learning, but it also can highlight existing strengths. Some nations approach carefully this balance between existing assets and well-grounded innovation. A key part of transformation in some nations which we have studied in detail has been a focus on values, both in respect of the aims of each education system and the focus of the curriculum. Attaining this balance in innovation will be the focus of the presentation.

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