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The effect of embedding foramtive assesment on pupil attainment

Jake Anders, Francesca Foliano (), Matt Bursnall (), Richard Dorsett, Nathan Hudson (), Johnny Runge and Stefan Speckesser ()
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Francesca Foliano: UCL Social Research Institute
Matt Bursnall: University of Sheffield
Nathan Hudson: NatCen Social Research
Stefan Speckesser: University of Brighton

No 21-10, CEPEO Working Paper Series from UCL Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities

Abstract: Evidence suggests that adapting teaching responsively to pupil assessment can be effective in improving students' learning. However, existing studies tend to be small-scale, leaving unanswered the question of how such formative assessment can operate when embedded as standard practice. In this paper, we present the results of a randomised trial conducted in 140 English secondary schools. The intervention uses light-touch training and support, with most of the work done by teacher-led teaching and learning communities within schools. It is therefore well-suited to widespread adoption. In our pre-registered primary analysis, we estimate an effect size of 0.09 on general academic attainment in national, externally assessed examinations. Sensitivity analysis, excluding schools participating in a similar programme at the outset, suggests a larger effect size of 0.11. These results are encouraging for this approach to improving the implementation of formative assessment and, hence, academic attainment. Our findings also suggest that the intervention may help to narrow the gap between high and low prior attainment pupils, although not the gap between those from disadvantaged backgrounds and the rest of the cohort.

Keywords: Formative assessment; Embedding practice; Professional development; Randomised controlled trial; Pupil attainment. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2021-11, Revised 2021-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ure
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