Here in Cambridge Assessment, we use our expertise to stimulate the debate in important areas of education and assessment. We are honoured to be joined by such a varied group of experts from England, Italy, Germany and the USA – each and every one of them contributing a unique puzzle piece to the international education debate.

David Smith, The Sunday Times

David SmithDavid Smith
Economics Editor, The Sunday Times

David Smith is Economics Editor of The Sunday Times, and the paper's Assistant Editor and Policy Advisor, and a regular contributor to CBI's Business Voice. Amongst the first to predict a V-shaped recovery, he was careful to say that it would take time to become discernible. 

A widely respected economics commentator, David is the author of several books, including From Boom to Bust, Will Europe Work?, The Age of Instability, and The Dragon and the Elephant: China, India and the New World Order. His most recent work, Free Lunch, is a guide to economics for the lay-person now that it seems essential we all understand the subject. 

Before moving to the nation’s most widely read Sunday broadsheet, David worked for The Times and Financial Weekly - as well as the Henley Centre for Forecasting and Lloyds Bank. He has won a number of prizes, including the Harold Wincott Award for Financial Journalist of the Year.


Marc Tucker, National Center on Education and the Economy

Marc Tucker - 95x125 - ImageMarc Tucker
President and CEO, National Center on Education and the Economy, USA

Marc S. Tucker is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Center on Education and the Economy. He is an internationally recognized expert on academic and occupational standards and assessment, and has also been among the leaders in researching the policies and practices of the countries with the best education systems in the world. 

Cited by President Clinton as a major intellectual contributor to Clinton Administration education and labour policies, he was appointed by the President to the National Skills Standards Board. He has also served as author, co-author or editor of many articles and several books and reports, including, Standards for Our Schools: How to Set Them, Measure Them and Reach Them; Thinking for a Living: Education and the Wealth of Nations; Tough Choices or Tough Times, Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for the United States, and Surpassing Shanghai: An Agenda for American Education Built on the World’s Leading Systems. Mr. Tucker has testified frequently to the U.S. Congress and state legislatures.

National Center on Education and the Economy

Dr David Graddol, The English Company (UK) Ltd

David Graddol - 95x125 - Image Dr David Graddol
Director, The English Company (UK) Ltd

Dr David Graddol is Director of The English Company (UK) Ltd which provides consultancy services in applied linguistics, with a special focus on English language and education policy. 

David previously worked for 25 years in the Faculty of Education and Language Studies at the UK Open University and has also been a Visiting Associate Professor at City University of Hong Kong (British Council Distinguished Visiting Scholar). He has worked as a consultant on various ELT projects in China, India and Latin America since the early 1990s David's many publications include a book for Cambridge English Language Assessment, Profiling English in China: The Pearl River Delta which was published in 2013.


Isabel Nisbet, A Level Content Advisory Board

Isabel NisbetIsabel Nisbet
Executive Director, A Level Content Advisory Board (ALCAB)

Isabel Nisbet is the Executive Director of the A level Content Advisory Board (ALCAB), established by the Russell Group of universities in response to an invitation from Government to advise on the content of some A levels. From 2011-2014 Isabel was Regional Director of Education, South East Asia, for Cambridge International Examinations, based in Singapore. From 2008-2011 she was the first CEO of Ofqual, the regulator of qualifications in England. Isabel’s earlier work was in the regulation of education and medicine, and she has worked in Government departments in England and Scotland.

A Level Content Advisory Board

Prof Jeremy Hodgen, King's College London

Jeremy Hodgen - 95 x 125 - ImageProf Jeremy Hodgen 
Professor of Mathematics Education, King's College London

Jeremy Hodgen is currently Professor of Mathematics Education at King’s College London and will take up a post at the University of Nottingham later this year. He was joint-coordinator of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC’s) Targeted Initiative in Science and Mathematics Education (TISME) and the Increasing Competence and Confidence in Algebra and Multiplicative Structures (ICCAMS). He led two influential comparative studies examining participation in post-16 Mathematics. 

Jeremy is currently working on a study of grouping practices and an extension of ICCAMS in Scotland. He has published widely on Mathematics education, assessment, international comparisons and standards over time. He is an editor of Research in Mathematics Education.

King's College London

Dr Karin Zimmer, German Institute for International Pedagogical Research

Karin Zimmer Dr Karin Zimmer
Researcher, German Institute for International Pedagogical Research (DIPF) and Leibniz Education Research Network (LERN), Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Karin Zimmer is a researcher with the German Institute for International Pedagogical Research (DIPF) in Frankfurt, Germany. She has been responsible for co-ordinating the latest German national educational report for German policy makers, taking into account indicators from national and international survey statistics as well as large-scale assessments. Karin is currently setting up the Leibniz Education Research Network, an alliance of sixteen independent research institutes in Germany.

Before joining DIPF in 2010, Karin has been a senior analyst of PISA at the OECD Education Directorate in Paris, France, for three years. Her academic background is in experimental psychology, pedagogy, and statistics (Masters and PhD degrees), and she has been involved in research and education at several universities in Germany and Denmark.

German Institute for International Pedagogical Research (DIPF)

Dr Stephen Spurr, Reddam House Europe

Stephen Spurr - 95x125 - ImageDr Stephen Spurr
Managing Director, Reddam House Europe

Dr Stephen Spurr has been appointed as Managing Director of Reddam House group, an expanding network of high-performing schools in South Africa and Australia, in September 2014. From 2005 to August 2014 Dr Spurr was Head Master at Westminster School, a selective boarding and day school with a pre-eminent world-wide academic reputation which regularly tops the UK league tables.  

From 2000-2005 Stephen was the Head Master of Clifton College in Bristol and between 1984 and 1999 was the Head of Classics and then a House Master at Eton College. He has taught also at school and university level in Australia and Italy. In his final year at Westminster he established an academically selective Sixth Form Free School, in conjunction with the Harris Federation, modelled on the Westminster curriculum and designed to prepare able pupils, principally from disadvantaged backgrounds, for study at the best universities in the UK and abroad.

Reddam House Group

David Barrs, Anglo European School

David Barrs - 95x125 - ImageDavid Barrs
Head Teacher, Anglo European School, UK

David is Co- Head Teacher (with Jill Martin) at the Anglo European School, a comprehensive school in Essex. The school was the first state school to introduce the International Baccalaureate Diploma in 1977, the first to embrace the IB Career-related Certificate in 2010 and the first to become a specialist language college in 1995. The IB pathways sit alongside A level pathways in the school’s ‘outstanding’ sixth form. David continues to teach Geography and Citizenship. 

Following a lifetime involvement with the United Nations Association, he became the first chairperson of the Association for Citizenship Teaching when it was launched in June 2001. It has over 1500 members. He advises the United Nations and the United Nations Association on educational matters and in 1995 edited the UN Kits for the UN - a series of teaching materials on the UN covering Key Stages 2, 3 and 4. He has recently re-instated the UN study tour programme to Geneva for students at his school. David chaired the Eastern Regional Council of the UN Association for 14 years.

David is a director of the UK IB Schools and Colleges and an elected member of the IN Heads Council representing the IB Africa, Europe and the Middle East region.

Anglo European School

Dino Varkey, GEMS Education Group

Sunny Varkey - 95x125 - ImageDino Varkey
Group Executive Director and Board Member, GEMS Education Group

Dino spearheads the global strategic development of GEMS Education. He is the third generation of an education family, driven by providing access to quality education for over 53 years. Today, GEMS is the largest privately held K-12 education company in the world. Starting with just 27 students, GEMS is now educating over 140,000 students from 173 nationalities GEMS operate across 19 countries today employing over 13,000 education professionals and staff from over 115 different countries. 

He has been active in the ongoing development of strategic relationships including government, regulatory, sector specialists and business partners - to ensure the achievement of the organization's growth aspirations and continued sector leadership. He is responsible for providing vision, leadership and direction across the global company as GEMS looks to fulfil its mission to be the world’s leading provider of quality education, enriching the lives of millions of children. Dino is an Honors graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Studies from the University of Sheffield, UK, YPO member, and Education Co–chair of the YPO Dubai Chapter.

GEMS Education
Varkey GEMS Foundation

Gisella Langé, Italian Ministry of Education

Gisella Lange - 95x125 - ImageGisella Langé
Foreign Languages Inspector, Italian Ministry of Education

Gisella Langé is a Foreign Languages Inspector with the Italian Ministry of Education, advising on internationalisation and foreign languages. A researcher, writer and consultant on issues relating to Foreign Language teaching, curriculum development and intercultural education, she has vast experience of working on culture and language learning solutions and web-based teacher training.

An expert within the European Commission and the Council of Europe, thematic groups and studies she has been involved with include Key Data on Teaching Languages at School in Europe 2012 (Italian expert for Eurydice study),  Early Language Learning (member of the European Commission Thematic group), the European Language Portfolio (member of the CoE Validation Committee and IMPEL project of ECML in Graz), the Autobiography for Intercultural Encounters (co-translator of the CoE document into Italian). She is currently involved in National Groups organized by the Ministry of Education on Primary teacher training, National Guidelines and CLIL.

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