CEER Publications

The Publications are organised in four groups:

  1. Recent
  2. Annual
  3. Short
  4. Archive

Front cover - Prospects for A-levels 2023A-levels 2023: Return to Normal?

CEER, August 2023

With the return to exams, the government is seeking to restore standards to pre-pandemic levels in two steps, with 2022 as a halfway house. This would mean nearly 100,000 fewer A* grades than were awarded in 2021. It did not quite get half-way last year.

Will it make up the ground and complete the task in 2023? It will be a brutal reduction which students, parents and schools may find too hard to bear.

Download: A-Levels 2023: Return to Normal?

GCSE 2023: Restoring the Value?

Buckingham: CEER, August 2023

The A-level results strongly indicate that GCSE grades in England (Wales and Northern Ireland are waiting till next year) will be restored to pre-pandemic standards. Although it may not feel like it to those receiving their grades this year who have seen the years above them being awarded strings of nines, it is good news because it provides much better information on which to base decisions about the future.

The greater precision will also help to improve education because it puts policies under scrutiny. What is the point of mandatory maths and English re-takes when the failure rates are so high? Is combined science a basis for science A-levels when the grades are so poor? Should the study of foreign languages continue to be pushed when pupils are so solid in their resistance? And what’s behind the growth in religious studies?

Download: GCSE 2023: Restoring the Value?

Are Schools Failing Boys?

Buckingham: CEER, January 2022

Boys are getting poorer results, on average, at all levels of education. This has been known for some time, but little has been done about it. It appears that many boys are not developing to their full potential. The seriousness of the issue is such that it calls for a major national inquiry.

Download: Are Schools Failing Boys?

Where Next for Apprenticeships 2016 Report

Where Next for Apprenticeships 2016

CIPD, August 2016

In a policy report of the Chartered Institute for Personnel Development edited by Tess Lanning, Alan Smithers argues that the introduction of national apprenticeship qualifications would turn the government’s hopes for the new apprenticeships into reality.

Download: Where Next for Apprenticeships 2016 (PDF).

Social Disadvantage and Widening Access to Universities Report

Social Disadvantage and Widening Access to Universities

Buckingham: CEER, November 2015

Achievement in higher education is not uniformly spread across the various sections of society. Females, those from higher income backgrounds, those from more affluent neighbourhoods, and those who are white, gain proportionally more good degrees. Universities face a dilemma: to admit on excellence or representativeness.

Download: Social Disadvantage and Widening Access to Universities (PDF).

HEFCE’s Blunder Report

HEFCE’s Blunder

Buckingham: CEER, November 2015

HEFCE has made a crucial error in its latest report on degree outcomes. It states that 82% of those getting firsts or upper-seconds in 2013-14 came from state schools against 73 per cent from independent schools, whereas the analysis actually shows the reverse to be the case.

Download: HEFCE’s Blunder (PDF)

The Coalition Effect, 2010-2015 Report

The Coalition Effect, 2010-2015

Edited by Anthony Seldon and Mike Finn, Cambridge University Press, pages 257-289, March 2015

The government rushed to unsettling reforms of education but was given an ‘easy ride’ by Labour. Michael Gove’s departure left a lot of unfinished business on academies, qualifications, apprenticeships and fair funding. A new Conservative-led government is very likely to see these through. But what Labour would do is far from clear since so far it has offered only bits and pieces.

Download: The Coalition Effect, 2010-2015 (PDF)

The Ins and Outs of Selective Secondary Schools Report

The Ins and Outs of Selective Secondary Schools

London: Civitas, pages 194-205, March 2015

There has to be selection in education since people differ greatly in their talents, interests and aspirations. Fifteen would be a good age allowing for an array of interconnected three-year pathways across the academic and occupational.

Download: The Ins and Outs of Selective Secondary Schools