20 January 2015
Cambridge Assessment is taking part in the largest gathering of education and skills ministers in the world.
Under the Cambridge brand, Cambridge International Examinations and Cambridge English Language Assessment and Cambridge University Press are Platinum Partners for the 2015 Education World Forum.
More than 80 international education ministers have gathered in London for the UK-led event, which was opened by Education Secretary for England Nicky Morgan MP. Delegates have been sharing the education system challenges they face, the solutions they have found and the successes they have achieved.
Representing the partners, Cambridge International Examinations’ Chief Executive Michael O’Sullivan gave a talk on the subject of ‘Accelerating Teaching Quality Improvement’.
He told the conference that “nothing matters more than good teaching in education”. But he warned that “no amount of effort or expenditure directed at teacher training will yield good results unless essential factors beyond the control of teachers are in the right place”.
He said these three factors were curriculum, assessment and environment. A good curriculum, he said, needed to present opportunities for subjects to be studied in depth as well as breadth. He then turned to assessment, which he said should strike a balance between testing knowledge and skills, while high-stakes exams and tests should be used sparingly. Lastly he turned to environment, focusing on a recent paper on textbooks by Cambridge Assessment’s Group Director of Research and Development Tim Oates.
He said the best textbooks can provide teachers with a supportive environment in which to work. Michael O’Sullivan is blogging live from the event and you can read the full text of his speech.