Making a Difference in Education: What the evidence says, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Making a Difference in Education

What the evidence says, 1st Edition

By Robert Cassen, Sandra McNally, Anna Vignoles


192 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-04-24
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What is working in education in the UK - and what isn't? This book offers a highly readable guide to what the latest research says about improving young people's outcomes in pre-school, primary and secondary education. Never has this issue been more topical as the UK attempts to compete in the global economy against countries with increasingly educated and skilled work-forces. The book discusses whether education policy has really been guided by the evidence, and explores why the failings of Britain's educational system have been so resistant to change, as well as the success stories that have emerged.

Making a Difference in Education looks at schooling from early years to age 16 and entry into Further Education, with a special focus on literacy, numeracy and IT. Reviewing a large body of research, and paying particular attention to findings which are strong enough to guide policy, the authors examine teacher performance, school quality and accountability, and the problematically large social gap that still exists in state school education today. Each chapter concludes with a summary of key findings and key policy requirements.

As a comprehensive research review, Making a Difference in Education should be essential reading for faculty and students in education and social policy, and of great interest to teachers and indeed to anyone who wants to know about the effectiveness of UK education policy and practice, and where they should be going.


"It is well-researched, well-written, and well worth buying" - Terry Freedman,

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. How did we get here? A selective history Robert Cassen 3. The early years Anna Vignoles 4. Parents and parenting Anna Vignoles 5. Schools: organisation, resources, and effectiveness Sandra McNally 6. What makes a good teacher? Robert Cassen 7. Reading and writing Robert Cassen 8. Numeracy and mathematics Sandra McNally 9. Special Educational Needs Anna Vignoles 10. IT in the classroom Robert Cassen 11. Vocational education Anna Vignoles

About the Authors

Robert Cassen is Visiting Professor at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics, UK and received an OBE for services to education in 2008.

Sandra McNally is Professor of Economics at the University of Surrey, UK, and Director of the Education and Skills Programme at the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics, UK.

Anna Vignoles is Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, UK. She is also a Research Associate at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, UK, and a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Education, London, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Elementary
EDUCATION / Secondary
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General