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22 January 2018

A Cambridge approach to improving education

Cambridge partners have highlighted the importance of a powerful framework in supporting governments and education organisations to develop coherent and bespoke solutions towards improving education outcomes around the world. 

Made up of Cambridge Assessment International Education, Cambridge Assessment English, Cambridge University Press and the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, collectively Cambridge partners provide curriculum, assessment, teaching and learning approaches, resources, English as a second language and teacher training services to support implementation of education reform agendas.

Jane Mann, Director of Education Reform at the Press said: ‘There is increasing international discussion about how to design and implement strategies that bring about educational improvement. Our mission to “contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence” shapes our approach to improving education systems.’

Education systems are complex and local context is essential in order to understand the wider implications of change. Different nations, at different times, have different challenges and opportunities, levels of resourcing and timescales to work with. With experts across the globe, Cambridge partners work in collaboration with education stakeholders to address these challenges and develop bespoke solutions that work for specific country’s context.  

A recent paper by Professor Tim Oates, CBE, Group Director of Assessment Research and Development for Cambridge Assessment, sets out this framework which acknowledges the complexity and highlights the importance of coherence in addressing this challenge.

 1.     A powerful framework for policy design

Education policy can directly impact curriculum, assessment, learning
resources, teacher professional
development, funding and
accountability; but complex relations exist between these factors. The framework, designed to aid the understanding of factors affecting different education systems at different times, can guide policy making, centering it on highly targeted and specific action which maximises the impact of invested effort and resources on these factors.

Education systems are also influenced by ‘explanatory factors’, such as global and local economies, cultures and the natural environment, though these tend to be out of the scope of education policy.

2.     The importance of coherence

Coherence across all components of an education system improves the changes of success in achieving education outcomes. However, effective improvement is not solely achieved through changes being made to all key aspects of education systems at once. Instead, change and refinements in single aspects of systems, for example in curriculum, assessment or teacher support, can be highly successful if designed with awareness of how that particular aspect interacts and influences other key elements of the education system.

3.      Bespoke solutions

Understanding the complex relations and interactions within each national education system is an important starting point in the formation of education improvement policy. The precise steps to designing policy or managing implementation will vary but taking a comprehensive view and targeting coherence create the best chance of improving and sustaining education outcomes.

Visit Cambridge at the 2018 Education World Forum event to find out more about our wide range of flexible services that support a coherent approach to education improvement.

Public Relations Manager
Tel: +44 (0)1223 326194



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