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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


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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Profile picture of Louise Hayward
Louise Hayward, Professor

Director of UGEAN 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...


Profile picture of Dominic Wyse
Dominic Wyse, Professor

Professor of Early Childhood & Primary Education at IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society

Dominic has made a leading contribution to research on curriculum and pedagogy, including national curricula, for more than 25 years. He has led multiple research projects and has published many books and research papers. Dominic’s main...


Profile picture of Jo-Anne Baird
Jo-Anne Baird, Professor

Professor of Educational Assessment at Oxford University

Jo-Anne Baird is Director of the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment. She has been Head of the Department of Education at Oxford, Standing Adviser to the House of Commons Education Select Committee, a member of Ofqual’s Standing...

Profile picture of Stuart Shaw
Stuart Shaw, Mr


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...

Profile picture of Isabel Nisbet
Isabel Nisbet, Ms


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...

Profile picture of Gordon Stobart
Gordon Stobart, Professor Emeritus

Emeritus Professor of Education at IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society

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...


Profile picture of Gemma Moss
Gemma Moss, Professor

Professor of Literacy at U C L Insitute of Education

Gemma Moss is Professor of Literacy at UCL Institute of Education. She has been appointed Director of the ESRC Education Research Programme (2021-26). She is interested in the shifting relationships between policymakers, practitioners and...

Profile picture of Tom Anderson
Tom Anderson, Mr

Head of Research 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...

Profile picture of Dennis Opposs
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...

Profile picture of Robin Bevan
Robin Bevan, Dr

Headteacher at National Education Union

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...

Profile picture of Martyn Ware
Martyn Ware

Head of Policy and Analysis at Scottish Qualifications Authority

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...

Profile picture of Ken Thomson OBE
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...

Profile picture of Nansi Ellis
Nansi Ellis, Ms

Assistant General Secretary 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 London...

Profile picture of Andrea Bradley
Andrea Bradley

Assistant General Secretary at Educational Institute of Scotland

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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