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Past event Part of series: President’s Roundtable Seminar Series

President Roundtable Seminar Series: Equitable, Reliable High Stakes Assessment: a possible dream?

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Lead: Louise Hayward, Professor, University of Glasgow

Link to event recording

BERA Presidential Roundtables provide compelling research reviews offering a state-of-the-art position on topics that are of interest to researchers, practitioners, policy makers and wider society. Each Presidential Roundtable results in a clear statement of the evidence in the field and implications for educational policy and practice. It is hoped that the statements will be a key reference point over several years, subject to periodic review and updating. The roundtables will also be used to promote engagement and dialogue across as many stakeholders as possible.

High stakes qualifications matter. They matter to students, parents/carers, teachers, employers, schools, universities and colleges, policy makers and politicians. Yet, few education systems internationally, can be confident that this crucial part of their system serves all young people well. Around the world COVID has disrupted education and challenged the ‘taken as granted’, including high stakes assessment systems, commonly in the form of examinations. This seminar explores the possibilities arising from the disruption to high stakes assessment systems that may open opportunities to design and develop new approaches to high stakes assessment that are more equitable and more reliable. What insights from research might inform this debate? How might we conceptualise fairness? How might ideas of standards and rigour be theorised to serve the rights of all learners? What might we learn from practice internationally?

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Louise Hayward

Professor at University of Glasgow

Louise Hayward is Professor of Educational Assessment and Innovation at the University of Glasgow. She was a member of the internationally renowned Assessment Reform Group and is currently a member of the Curriculum, Assessment and Pedagogy...


Dominic Wyse, Professor

BERA President at UCL Institute of Education

Dominic Wyse is Professor of Early Childhood and Primary Education at the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education (IOE) and Founding Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy (0-11 Years). Dominic is current President of...


Jo-Anne Baird

Director of the Department & Professor of Educational Assessment at University of Oxford

Before coming to Oxford, Jo-Anne held academic posts at the Institute of Education, University of London and the University of Bristol. Jo-Anne previously held the position of Head of Research at the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, where...

Stuart Shaw

University of Cambridge

Stuart has worked for international awarding bodies for over 20 years. From 2007 to 2021, he was Head of Research at Cambridge Assessment International Education. Stuart is particularly interested in demonstrating how educational and...

Isabel Nisbet

University of Cambridge

Isabel Nisbet’s academic background is in philosophy, and her career has been in government and regulation, including the regulation of medicine, postgraduate medical education and educational assessment. She was the first CEO of Ofqual, the...

Gordon Stobart

Emeritus Professor of Education at University College London

Gordon Stobart is Emeritus Professor of Education, Institute of Education, University College London and an Honorary Research Fellow at Oxford University. Having worked as a secondary school teacher and an educational psychologist, he spent...


Gemma Moss, Professor

International Literacy Centre, UCL Institute of Education

Gemma Moss is professor of literacy and director of the International Literacy Centre at the UCL Institute of Education. Prior to that she was a professor at the University of Bristol. She is interested in the shifting relationships between...

Tom Anderson

Head of Research and Statistics at Qualifications Wales

Tom Anderson is Head of Research and Statistics at Qualifications Wales, the independent regulator of non-degree qualifications in Wales. He oversees a team of researchers and statisticians that support policy and regulatory colleagues in...

Dennis Opposs

Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation

Dennis Opposs works at the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). Ofqual is the examinations regulator in England, and his current post is Standards Chair. He acts as an in-house expert on qualifications, standards and...

Robin Bevan, Dr

Headteacher at Southend High School for Boys

Robin Bevan is Headteacher at Southend High School for Boys – an ‘outstandingly successful’ school – appointed in September 2007. Robin served as National President (2020/21) of the National Education Union: Europe’s largest education...

Martyn Ware

Head of Policy and Analysis at Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

Martyn Ware is Head of Policy and Analysis at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). In previous roles with SQA Martyn has led its work on e-assessment, managed a diverse portfolios of qualifications, including general and vocational...

Ken Thomson OBE, Dr

Principal and Chief Executive at Forth Valley College

Dr Ken Thomson joined Falkirk College of Further and Higher Education in 1994 following eight years in environmental education. He became Principal and Chief Executive of Forth Valley College in 2013 having previously held posts of Depute...

Nansi Ellis

Assistant General Secretary, Education Policy & Research at National Education Union

Nansi Ellis is assistant general secretary for the National Education Union, with responsibility for education policy and research. Nansi began her teaching career as a primary teacher in a bilingual school in west Wales, and then moved to...

Andrea Bradley

Assistant General Secretary at Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)

Andrea Bradley is Assistant General Secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), Scotland’s largest teacher trade union and professional association. With lead responsibility for Education and Equality matters within the EIS, and...

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