Press releases

The latest news from RISE.

The report of a seminar on school admissions held by RISE (Research and Information on State Education) in London earlier this year has been published.

At the seminar, Professor John Coldron outlined the findings of his RISE review of admissions and Dr Elizabeth Passmore (Chief Adjudicator) and John Freeman (former Director of Children’s Services) responded. An invited audience of people working in the administration of school admissions, campaigning about admissions or researching admissions then gave their views.

A full report of the seminar School admissions – lessons from the evidence. A report and follow-up discussion is now available on the RISE website.

7 September 2015

A discussion paper, published by Research and Information on State Education (RISE), calls on the Government to keep the impact of recently introduced legislation on the education of children and young people with special educational needs and disability under continuous review.

In the paper Transformation or an opportunity lost? Nick Peacey, Visiting Research Associate at UCL Institute of Education, University of London, argues that, while the reforms enhance aspects of the previous English SEND framework, they:


  • do not have adequate safeguards for introduction into an educational environment which is in many ways hostile to inclusion and equality
  • take insufficient account of recent international research evidence, such as the fast-developing knowledge of the infant brain, which is already challenging our SEND resource priorities
  • fall short of the highest international standards on difference and disability, particularly those set out in the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

The paper also makes a series of recommendations.

6 August 2015

A newly-published review of research into school admissions in England stresses the need for strong regulation to continue but warns policy makers and campaigners to resist coming to simplistic conclusions about how to tackle unfairness.

In the week in which parents of children moving on to secondary school learn about whether their preferences have been met, the analysis of research on school admissions, by Professor John Coldron of Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University, is published today by RISE (Research and Information on State Education).

5 March 2015

Education experts raised key concerns about the future role of school governors at a seminar organised by RISE.

Speakers and participants discussed current changes and asked whether these were threatening the moral purpose and social responsibility involved in being a school governor.

A full report of the seminar School Governance – what we know now and what will the future hold? is now available on the RISE website.

2 December 2013

There is little variation in the performance of maintained schools in England once the characteristics of their pupils are taken into account.

That is one of the key conclusions of a research review published today (September 9) by the education research charity RISE. Its author, Will Cook, found that the strongest determinants of variation in pupil attainment are at the level of the individual pupil and the family and that there is a limit to what can be done to break those links with interventions directed at whole school improvement.

This latest RISE Review, How intake and other external factors affect school performance, is a clear and accessible review of research evidence, addressing the question: How much of a school’s performance is directly within its control?

9 September 2013

An overview of the role of Ofsted since its inception in 1992 is published today by RISE (Research and Information on State Education) as part of its RISE reviews series.

The review is a valuable study of an organisation which has hardly been out of the news since its start. It has been written by Adrian Elliott, former headteacher, school inspector and author of State Schools Since the 1950s: The Good News.

27 November 2012

A review published today by RISE (Research and Information on State Education) examines the differences in school systems across the UK.

The publication of this review is timely in view of the contrasting outcome of recent elections in different parts of the UK.

The review, by Dr Linda Croxford of the Centre for Educational Sociology, University of Edinburgh, shows how different cultures and political priorities in the four nations of the UK are creating increasingly different experiences of schooling.

13 May 2011

A research review published today by RISE shows conclusively that, when asked in detailed surveys, the overwhelming majority of parents are satisfied with their children’s schools.

The publication of this review is timely in view of the attention currently being paid to the possibility that parents who are dissatisfied with local school provision might start their own schools.

The review analyses surveys of parents’ opinions about their children’s schools over the past five years. The analysis also reveals that, despite the emphasis placed on academic results by policy makers, the research contains much evidence to suggest that they are not as important to most parents as is often assumed.

9 June 2010

A new research report has concluded that there is a need for greater collective control over admission arrangements to schools in England.

After focusing on the work of Admission Forums, Philip Noden of the London School of Economics, who conducted the research for RISE, described them as "a mandatory body in search of a role". The research found a need for admission criteria to be co-ordinated and recommended that Admission Forums take on this role. The report recommends that a duty should be placed on Admission Forums to promote co-ordinated oversubscription criteria.

Philip Noden said –

"A key feature of Admission Forums is their lack of formal powers, indeed they might be crudely characterised as a mandatory body in search of a role. It is evident there is a need for greater local co-ordination of admission arrangements, including the co-ordination of oversubscription criteria, but we do not think this can be achieved by simply enforcing the current School Admissions Code".

This research, Secondary school admissions in England: Admission Forums, local authorities and schools, by Philip Noden and Anne West, Education Research Group, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, is the first analysis carried out on the work of Admissions Forums since they were established. It examines how they and local authorities have responded to recent changes in the law relating to secondary school admissions.

8 December 2009

This week (beginning 2/3/2009) parents across the country will hear if their child has gained a place at a preferred secondary school and RISE (Research and Information on State Education) publishes a report on the criteria which have been used to make those decisions by admissions authorities in 3,134 English secondary schools.

Professor Anne West of the LSE who conducted the research for RISE says:

Despite improvements our research suggests that the system is still too complex, particularly for parents/carers who are not highly educated or proficient in English, and especially where there are schools responsible for their own admissions. The complexity is exacerbated by some schools seeking additional information from parents, often of a personal nature and unrelated to the admissions criteria. This information could be used to select in and select out children. If the government is genuinely interested in ensuring fair admissions, school admissions should be administered by an independent body (e.g. local authority or relevant church body) with no vested interest in the outcome.

The paper lists a number of findings and makes recommendations for further changes to admissions policy.

2 March 2009