Rebalancing power dynamics and reconceptualising ‘rigour’ in measuring learning – Schools2030 at UKFIET 2021

06 October 2021
By Sarah James

The 16th annual UKFIET conference this year took on some of the educational issues that have arisen as a result of the pandemic, with the theme of Building back better in education and training – reimagining, reorienting and redistributing. Such themes resonate well with Schools2030’s mandate of seeking to shift the balance of power into the hands of those closest to the problem – namely teachers and school communities. For this reason, the Schools2030 team, alongside our Global Assessment Partner, Oxford MeasurEd, decided to focus on the crucial ‘assess’ aspect of its Six-Step model for a symposium that took both a global and contextual view.

In the Schools2030 approach to assessment, teachers sit at the centre of a process of deciding what is important in their classroom, how it can most usefully be measured, and how the results of the measurements can be used to design solutions for their classes. Putting this into practice involved rethinking what is meant by rigour in educational assessment, its role in participatory learning improvement and who should hold the power to decide what should be measured, and how we should measure it.

A selection of slides from the virtual event at UKFIET

A mixture of short talks and interactive sessions took participants through insights generated on assessment from the design and first year of Schools2030 implementation. A discussion followed into how Schools2030’s approach to assessment can change paradigms and power dynamics on measurement and research in education. The symposium was chaired by Dr Caine Rolleston, of University College London, and included presentations from Rachel Outhred, Managing Director, Oxford MeasurEd, Arjun Sanyal, Senior Education Officer, Aga Khan Foundation India, Dr Bronwen Magrath, Schools2030 Global Programme Manager, Brenda Naggayi, a teacher based in Uganda, Emily Tusiime, Regional Assessment Lead for Schools2030 in East Africa and Fergal Turner, Senior Consultant at Oxford MeasurEd.


Schools2030 is a ten-year participatory learning improvement programme based in 1,000 government schools across ten countries. Schools2030 supports teachers and students to design and implement education micro-innovations. These low-cost and scaleable innovations will inform and transform education systems to improve holistic learning outcomes for the most marginalised learners worldwide. Join the movement on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.