From January to December 2011 the review was advised by an expert panel comprising Professor Mary James, Professor Andrew Pollard, Tim Oates and Professor Dylan William.
The panel published a report detailing its conclusions and recommendations on 19 December 2011 and has now completed its work.
The chair of the panel, Tim Oates, will continue to work as an adviser to the review and a member of the Advisory Committee.
Tim Oates joined Cambridge Assessment in May 2006 to spearhead the rapidly growing Assessment Research and Development Division. He was previously at the Qualifications and Curriculum Agency (QCA), where he had been Head of Research and Statistics for most of the last decade.
Mr Oates has produced work which commands national and international respect, including advising on a pan-European 8-level qualifications framework. He has advised the UK Government for many years on both practical matters and assessment policy, and is particularly experienced in international use of core knowledge curricula.
He started his career as a research officer at the University of Surrey. He moved to the FE Staff College in 1987 where he helped run the Work-Based Learning project. London University's Institute of Education then appointed him as NCVQ Research Fellow. In 1993 he joined one of the QCA's predecessor bodies, the National Council for Vocational Qualifications, as Head of GNVQ Research and Development. Promotion to Director of Research followed two years later.
Mr Oates will be taking up a part-time secondment with the Department for Education to lead the National Curriculum review expert panel.
Professor Mary James works part-time for the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, as Associate Director of Research, having recently retired from a chair in education at the London Institute of Education. Previously she was a reader at Cambridge University, and before that a research fellow at the Open University where she contributed to courses in curriculum. She began her career by teaching English and humanities subjects for ten years in secondary schools.
Professor James has produced over one hundred publications that explore the interactions of curriculum, assessment, teaching, learning, teacher development and school leadership. She was the founding editor of the Curriculum Journal. Between 1992 and 1997 she was deputy director of the Teaching and Learning Research programme (TLRP): the largest programme of educational research ever funded within the UK. She combined this with her work as director of the TLRP project ‘Learning How to Learn’. This large-scale project examined the conditions in schools that are necessary to promote independent learning by students across the curriculum. In 2007-08 she held an Economic and Social Research Council programme director's fellowship connected with her TLRP work.
Professor James has a wide knowledge of different approaches to curriculum across different nations. For example, since 2000 she has been an adviser to the Hong Kong Government and the only overseas member of their Curriculum Development Council.
Andrew Pollard is Professor of Education at the Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, and Director of ESCalate at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol. He was Director of the Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) from 2002-09 which incorporated 700 researchers in 70 projects, covering all education sectors - from early years to higher education and workplace learning.
Professor Pollard is a former schoolteacher, and his research interests include teaching-learning processes and learner perspectives, as well as the development of evidence-informed classroom practice. He is responsible for a popular textbook and support materials on reflective teaching within primary and secondary schooling. He has worked extensively on the effects of national and institutional policies on learning, and co-directed the Primary, Assessment, Curriculum and Experience project (PACE), tracking the impact of education legislation on practices and experiences in English primary school classrooms.
With a long-standing interest in the design, management and evaluation of research projects in education, Professor Pollard has worked extensively with schools and local authorities including many UK education agencies and funding bodies such as the Economic and Social Research Council, Training and Development Agency, the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
After a first degree in mathematics and physics, and one year teaching in a private school, Professor Wiliam taught in inner-city schools for seven years, during which time he earned further degrees in mathematics and mathematics education.
In 1984 he joined King's College London to work on developing innovative assessment schemes in mathematics, before taking over the leadership of the mathematics teacher education programme at King’s. Between 1989 and 1991 he was the academic coordinator of the Consortium for Assessment and Testing in Schools, which developed a variety of statutory and non-statutory assessments for the National Curriculum of England and Wales. Professor Wiliam has just retired from the Institute of Education, where he was a deputy director and Professor of Educational Assessment.
His research experience includes the professional development of teachers, from a focus on the use of evidence about student learning, to adapting teaching to better meet student needs. He was featured in a recent documentary for BBC2, The Classroom Experiment, which trialled his ideas for a different approach to teaching in schools. He is also experienced in the use of assessment to support learning. He was the co-author, with Paul Black, of a major review of the research evidence on formative assessment published in 1998 and has subsequently worked with many groups of teachers, in both the UK and the USA, on developing formative assessment practices.