In many countries, schools are held accountable for their performance and their achievements are assessed regularly. This enables governments to set and monitor standards, provides incentives for schools to strengthen their performance against the areas assessed, and informs actions needed to support any necessary improvements.

Measuring school performance helps parents and the wider public to judge the value that schools and the government offer our children and young people, and assists parents in choosing a school for their child.

Monitoring performance offers opportunities to recognise good practice and provides school leaders with the data they need to improve performance and to learn from others. However, accountability systems can also introduce perverse incentives and unintended consequences.

At NFER, our specialist teams have detailed knowledge of the issues regarding accountability in education as well as decades of practical experience of developing large-scale assessments and performance measures that support system-wide improvement. In the UK, we work closely with Ofqual, the Department for Education and Ofsted.

There are many different models of accountability in different countries. Our international experts are able to draw on an extensive range of data and research on international approaches to accountability, to advise on the benefits and pitfalls of different approaches.