Why we created an online CEM training course – Meeting the Standards for Teacher Professional Development

Over the last few years, we’ve learnt a lot about creating online learning courses. At Evidence Based Education, we aim to be just that: evidence based! This means that when we design new programmes and deliver training to teachers, we base our decisions in the best available evidence on effective teacher learning. 

As the training provider for the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Cambridge University, we’ve worked with hundreds of schools to help them use their CEM data more effectively. However, when visiting schools, we’re very open that there is a wide body of evidence that one-off workshops or INSET days rarely have an impact on student outcomes (Timperley et al., 2007). To that end, we created an ongoing support package for schools that gives the training we offer the maximum chance of having an impact on teachers’ professional learning and, ultimately, student outcomes. 

This is the first in a series of short blog posts explaining what the ongoing support packages include and how they can help your school get the most from your CEM assessment data. 



We decided to create a rigorous, but practical, online programme that would help colleagues build up their knowledge and confidence using CEM assessment data, while guiding them through the things to consider when analysing their pupils’ data. We launched our updated online CEM training course in October and it is available for ALL STAFF as part of our support packages. 

In 2016, the Department for Education produced a series of Standards for Professional Development (which can be found here). We actively encourage schools to challenge us, and all other PD providers, on how they are meeting or working towards these Standards. Our online CEM training course: 

  • Is a sustained programme over a year that all staff can access;
  • Contains content that will directly help schools use CEM assessment data more effectively to improve student outcomes; 
  • Is structured to include retrieval practice in order to stimulate thinking and exercises for staff to practise what they’ve learnt; 
  • Requires senior leaders’ commitment to making CEM training a priority; 
  • Encourages staff to regularly collaborate with colleagues, either in school or via our forum; and 
  • Provides support throughout from EBE’s team of experts. 



We acknowledge that in-person training sessions do still have a role to play, however, they have their limitations: the costs involved with travel and accommodation and the availability of staff to attend are just two of these. We designed the online course to mitigate against some of these potential problems with in-person training: 

  • Our Essentials support package, which includes access for ALL staff to the online course, costs just £450(exc. VAT) for the year – with no travel and no cover costs; 
  • Colleagues have their own access to the online course so can start, pause and pick up where they left off at times to suit them; 
  • Staff can start the course whenever they want – ideal for when new staff join the school who might otherwise miss an in-person session; 
  • All content remains available, even once the course is complete, so staff can revisit when required; and 
  • The lessons contain integrated videos that can be shown in departmental meetings or before looking at your CEM data so you bring your learning to your own context. 


You can find out more about our ongoing CEM support package and the tools and resources it includes by clicking here. 



Timperley, H., Wilson, A., Barrar, H., & Fung I. (2007). Teacher Professional Learning and Development: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education

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