Getting more information

Where to find more education information and research

Educational data and research is available on line from government departments, Parliament and many other organisations, including research centres. Many organisations have email newsletters and tweets about their work so signing up for newsletters and following organisations on Twitter are both are very useful ways to keep up to date with the latest information and research. If you know what you are looking for Google might find it.

Links to organisations providing information are arranged here under five headings:

  • Government and Parliamentary sources of information
  • Publicly funded organisations providing information on education
  • Other sources of information, particularly research
  • Charities, think tanks, pressure groups and other bodies producing information on education
  • Education media

Government and Parliamentary sources of information

Statistical and research information about education from the Department for Education

Statistics

The data in the statistics derive in the main from the Schools Census. Every school is required to supply information to the DfE each January through the Schools Census. This is supplied electronically from each maintained school’s Management Information System. The data items include a unique pupil number (UPN), pupil name, gender, date of birth, home postcode, ethnic group, first language, free school meal eligibility and special educational needs information. Statistical First Releases and Statistical Releases are the most frequently produced and cover all standard statistics, e.g. the numbers of teachers, schools, pupils, exclusions, etc. The RISE Information Centre catalogues these into topics. Statistical Bulletins – short analyses of a subject – and Statistical Volumes covering subjects in great depth, are recently only on the Internet. These should be found under Key Reports on the RISE Information Centre.

Research

The DfE commissions research, which is regularly published on the site.

Research reports and briefs are reports of research on specific topics. Both can be downloaded from the links below. Information about forthcoming research can also be found here.

The departmental web address is: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education

Performance Tables are on the website with more information here.

UK Government Education Departments

Education in the rest of the UK (i.e. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) is largely or entirely a devolved responsibility. Official information can be found on these websites:

Department of Education Northern Ireland

Scottish Executive Education and Training

Welsh Assembly Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills

Parliament

Gov UK is the main source for all governmental publications

Research publications are produced for both Houses of Parliament. These include research briefings and standard notes, which are topical briefings prepared by the House of Commons Library for Members of Parliament. They are published online as they may be of wider interest. Longer Research Papers are also produced.

Select Committees

These mirror Government departments. These all party committees carry out investigations into specific topics and call for evidence. As a result their reports may be a rich source of evidence from academics. There are six main committees likely to have some information on education:

Business, Innovations and Skills Committee

The Education Committee

Public Administration Committee

The Public Accounts Committee

The Science and Technology Committee

They Work For You enables searches on the parliamentary website, including written answers, statements and debates. A search engine and an alert when selected words are used can be used to find references to specific topics.

Publicly funded organisations providing information on education

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) gives information and advice about financial management in the public sector.

The Children’s Commissioner for England promotes and protects children’s rights in England. Its reports include children’s views. Other parts of the UK have their own commissioners.

Data.gov.uk is the government website with its data for other people to re-use. This is only about non-personal, non-sensitive data – information such as the list of schools, crime rates or the performance of the local council.

Edubase is a list of all schools in England giving information on school capacity, numbers on roll, percentage eligible for free school meals, as well as location, contact details etc.

The Education Endowment Foundation commissions research focused on raising attainment for disadvantaged pupils.

The Education Funding Agency funds schools and colleges and is an agency of the DfE.

Educational and Social Research Council (ESRC)Educational and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s leading agency for research funding and training in economic and social sciences addressing economic and social concerns including education.

Legislation Gov UK is the site for published legislation.

The Local Government Association is the national representative organisation for Local Authorities.

The Local Government Information Unit produces information for local councillors, including on education.

The National Audit Office scrutinises public spending.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership aims to ‘improve the quality of the education workforce (teachers) and help schools to help each other improve.

The New Schools Network encourages the setting up of free schools.

The Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (OFQUAL) is the regulator of qualifications, exams and tests in England.

The Office of the Schools Adjudicator rules on disputes about school admissions and reorganisations.

The Office for National Statistics is a wide-ranging and easy to access source of information. The section Social Trends, for example, has a section on education.

The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) has links to individual reports under the appropriate subject headings.

The School Teachers' Review Body considers all matters related to the employment of teachers and reports to the Government.

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty (SMCP) Commission monitors the progress of government and others in improving social mobility and reducing child poverty in the United Kingdom.

The Standards and Testing Agency oversees the curriculum and testing and is an agency of the DfE.

The Stationery Office bookshop site has a large education section.

The UK Statistics Authority is an ‘independent body operating at arm’s length from government as a non-ministerial department, directly accountable to Parliament’.

Other sources of information, particularly research

British Educational Research Association (BERA) includes news of research events and resources for researchers..

Centre for the Use of Research & Evidence in Education (CUREE) is a ‘centre of expertise in evidence-based practice in all sectors of education’.

Current education & children’s services research (CERUK) was an education and children’s services research project in the UK. No new information is now added but the website is maintained.

The Education Development Trust (formerly CfBT) invests annually in a programme of educational research.

Eurostat, the statistical arm of the European Commission, produces statistical publications including Key Data on Education.

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has several newsletters to sign up for. Linked to the NFER is Eurydice, the education information network in Europe, produces information on national education systems and policies and produces studies and analyses. Eurydice also has its own database, Eurybase, which is a database on education systems in Europe. It provides information on each phase and all aspects of education from pre-school to higher education. Eurostat is also available through Eurydice.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a rich source of international comparisons of 30 developed countries. Search the main site for education. Two publications on education are of particular interest: Education at a Glance - a source of comparable and up-to-date indicators on the performance of education systems published every year - and The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) - an internationally standardised assessment that was jointly developed by participating countries and administered to 15-year-olds in schools. PISA assesses how far students near the end of compulsory education have acquired some of the knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in society.

Research Ed is a ‘teacher-led organisation aimed at improving research literacy in the educational communities’.

The Sutton Trust produces research regularly.

University departments

Many universities with a department dealing with education now make their publications available on line. There are also centres that gather information about research carried out by different institutions. Some offer email updates. Here are some of the major sources, but there are many universities with education departments:

The Centre for Education and Employment Research (CEER) is based at the University of Buckingham.

The Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO), based at Bristol University, researches in particular the effect of the market in education.

The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre) is part of the Social Science Research Unit at the Institute of Education, University of London.

The UCL Institute of Education site is a good place to go for academic information. The Institute houses several other research centres. Copies of research papers can be downloaded.

London School of Economics and Political Science – LSE has various centres of interest:

Warwick University. The Institute of Education here is a research centre.

York University is the base for the Institute for Effective Education. It also produces an email newsletter. The IEE also houses the Coalition for Evidence-Based Education (CEBE) - an alliance of researchers, policy makers and practitioners who share an interest in reforming the way research evidence is used in policy and practice to make it more central to education policy and practice.

Charities, think tanks, pressure groups and other bodies providing information on education - some carrying out research

ACE Education Advice and Training provides information and independent advice on education issues in England. It continues much of the work of its predecessor, the Advisory Centre for Education.

The Anti Academies Alliance ‘opposes the government’s Academies programme and believes we need a good school for every child’.

The children’s charity Barnardo’s sometimes produces research on education issues.

The British Academy funds research into the humanities.

The Campaign for Real Education is a campaign group aiming for ‘higher standards and more parental choice in state education’.

The Campaign for State Education (CASE) is an education campaign group which ‘campaigns for the right of all to the highest quality state education’.

The Centre for Policy Studies ‘releases regular publications from respected authors designed to influence and shape the political debate’.

The Centre for the Study of Market Reform of Education ‘explores the potential of markets to improve education’.

Centre Forum – ‘the liberal think tank’.

The Children’s Legal Centre advises on all aspects of law relating to children.

The Children’s Society sometimes produces publications related to education.

Civitas – a think tank committed to ‘strengthening democracy, personal freedom and achieving opportunity for all’.

Compass – campaigning for a ‘more equal democratic and sustainable future’.

Comprehensive Future campaigns for ‘fair school admissions and an end to selection’.

The Community Empowerment Network works for equality and justice in education.

Contact a Family provides information as part of its charitable activities supporting families of children with a disability.

Down Syndrome Education International supports research and provides evidence-based resources.

Early Education – the British Association for Early Years Education supports early years work and workers.

Education Foundation – bringing ‘educators, policy makers, entrepreneurs and business leaders together to make long term and positive difference to the British education system’.

The Fair Admissions campaign promotes an end to faith based admissions to schools.

Family Lives has information related to schooling.

The Human Scale Education Movement campaigns for ‘human scale learning environments where children and young people are known and valued as individuals’.

IPPR – ‘UK’s leading progressive think tank’.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation works to ‘inspire social change through research, policy and practice’.

The Local Schools Network ‘promotes local state schools in the UK’.

The National Education Trust is an ‘independent charitable foundation dedicated to the promotion and sharing of excellent practice and innovation in education’.

The National Governors' Association represents school governors.

The National Grammar Schools Association campaigns for ‘the retention and promotion of the UK’s grammar schools as a valuable choice for parents’.

The New Visions for Education Group aims to promote ‘a high quality, equitable education service’.

Partners in Excellence (PiXL) is a ‘partnership of over 1,500 schools working together to achieve the highest outcomes for students and to improve their life chances.’

Policy Exchange aims for ‘better public services, a stronger society and more dynamic economy’.

Policy Network is an ‘international think tank and political network’.

Social Market Foundation is an ‘independent think tank exploring ideas which link the state and the market’.

The Special Educational Consortium is under the umbrella of the Council for Disabled Children. It is a group of organisations that protect and promote the rights of disabled children and children with special educational needs.

The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) is an organisation for secondary schools.

The Teacher Development Trust is an independent charity, founded by teachers, dedicated to improving the educational outcomes of children by ensuring they experience the most effective learning.

Teacher Union websites provide information on education:

Education media

The BBC’s web site has an excellent Education News section where you can keep up to date with the latest stories or catch TV and radio news broadcasts that you might have missed.

The Education Media Centre provides ready access to academic opinions on current educational issues.

The Education Publishing Company is a publishing company that has several publications available on-line about education, including some which provide an extensive coverage of education issues in Parliament.

The Guardian Education site has the latest stories on all aspects of education and a link to jobs in the education sector.

Newsnow is a news gathering site which has education stories from local and national newspapers.

The Times Educational Supplement (TES) web site features news stories from the current issue and a searchable archive of back issues.