Education policy: OUC – CfBT, Pearson, British Education Research Association

Improving education practice in nurseries, schools and higher education.

Oxford has been making a major contribution to the study of education as a field for over 100 years and today the University’s Department of Education has a world class reputation for research. The Department shares the expertise gained from its research by providing consultancy services through Oxford University Consulting to governments, NGOs and commercial organisations.

The consultancy ranges across the spectrum of educational age groups, from nursery associations such as the NDNA, to school improvement programmes with Pearson Education, to higher education with the British Education Research Association.

Dr Kate Edwards, Head of Research and Communication at Pearson says:

‘Oxford University Consulting has provided us with world-class, expert analysis of our approach to school improvement.

‘They’ve provided us with an objective, external perspective on our work that we think has helped to stimulate our thinking and refine our approach.’

The Department of Education has also provided consultancy through OUC to produce four literature reviews for the CfBT Education Trust on different aspects of the effectiveness of schools.

CfBT is a charity employing 2,500 people worldwide. With a turnover exceeding £100 million it has been ranked 30 out of 3,000 charities in the UK in terms of income by Caritas Data. CfBT’s aim is to ensure that investment in educational research has a direct impact on beneficiaries via practitioners and policy makers.

The findings from these reviews will be used to identify the key challenges to increasing the effectiveness of schools in the Gulf region, serving as background papers for a symposium which took place in Dubai in December 2010.

Karen Whitby, Research Manager at CfBT, describes the societal impact her organisation is making with the support of Oxford University Innovation’s Oxford University Consulting:

‘CfBT contacted OUC because we wanted to contract Professor Pam Sammons and we also felt that the ‘brand’ of Oxford university would appeal to our partners in the UAE. Pam requested that the work we commissioned be contracted through Isis and they have helped us with our research.

‘As one of the top 30 charities in the uk, we work for and with individuals and communities in order to help them reach their potential. As a not-for-profit organisation we commit around £1 million of our surpluses every year or practice-based educational research. There is an ambition within CfBT to ensure that the organisation’s investment in educational research has a direct impact on beneficiaries via practitioners and policy makers. This investment is now channelled through our Evidence for Education (EfE) research programme – a distinct and original research programme designed by CfBT with the intention of helping to establish education as an evidence-based profession.’

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