Tim Oates CBE

Tim Oates

Tim Oates CBE joined Cambridge Assessment in May 2006 to spearhead the rapidly growing Assessment Research and Development division. He was previously at the Qualifications and Curriculum Agency, where he had been Head of Research and Statistics for most of the last decade.

Work included advising on a pan-European 8-level qualifications framework. He has advised the UK Government for many years on both practical matters and assessment policy.

He started his career as a research officer at the University of Surrey. He moved to the FE Staff College in 1987 where he helped run the Work-Based Learning project. London University's Institute of Education then appointed him as NCVQ Research Fellow. In 1993 he joined one of the QCA's predecessor bodies, the National Council for Vocational Qualifications, as Head of GNVQ Research and Development. Promotion to Director of Research followed two years later.

Tim was awarded CBE in the 2015 New Year's Honours for services to education.



More like work or more like school? Insights into learning cultures from a study of skatepark users
Johnson, M. and Oates, T. (2017). Presented at the Journal of Vocational Education and Training International Conference, University of Oxford, UK, 7-9 July 2017


Making Sense of a Learning Space: How Freestyle Scooter-riders Learn in a Skate Park
Johnson, M. and Oates, T. (2016). Informal Learning Review, 140, 17-21.


Changing Qualifications: A review of qualifications policies and practices
Coles, M. and Oates, T. (2010) CEDEFOP, Reference Series 84
Resisting the English urge towards self-destruction - in defence of A levels
Oates, T. (2010)
Changing qualifications - a review of qualifications policies and practices (Commissioned report - CEDEFOP)
Coles, M. and Oates, T. with Charraud, A., Clematide, B., Hanf, G., Leney, T., Raffe, D. and Watters, E. (2010)


Considering alternatives to national assessments in England: possibilities and opportunities
Green, S. and Oates, T. (2009) Educational Research, 51, 2, 229-245
The Cambridge Approach - principles for designing, administering and evaluating assessment
Oates, T. (2009)
External Evaluation of the European Baccalaureate
Puntis, A., Gaultier, J.P. and Oates, T. (2009)


Alternative Approaches to National Assessment at KS1, KS2 and KS3
Green, S., Bell, J. F., Oates, T. and Bramley, T. (2008)


Protecting the innocent
Oates, T. (2007) The need for ethical frameworks within mass educational innovation, pp144-175 in Saunders, L. (ed) Educational research and policy-making - exploring the border country between research and policy (Routledge)
'Underachieving boys' and 'overachieving girls' revisited
Oates, T. (2007) Rhetoric and reality, in Myers, K. (ed), Genderwatch - still watching (Trentham Books)
Techniques for monitoring the comparability of examination standards
Oates, T. (2007) General commentary, in Newton, P. et al (eds), Techniques for monitoring the comparability of examination standards (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority)
How to promote educational quality through national assessment systems
Green, S. and Oates, T. (2007) International Association for Educational Assessment (IAEA) Conference, Azerbaijan


European reference levels for education and training
Coles, M. and Oates, T. (2004) An important parameter for promoting credit transfer and mutual trust (the draft European Qualifications Framework - CEDEFOP)



Conference: Questioning Questions

young school girl with her hand in the air to answer a question

What are the best kind of questions to ask? #CamEdLive