Terry Freedman

Independent consultant and freelance writer
Speaking at


Read all about it! What do the papers really say about research

When you read or hear about some new research in education, chances are it will be pretty negative. The reasons for this are more subtle than you might think. It’s not simply to do with the fact that good news is no news, but the economics of running a newspaper, the staffing structure of newspapers, and even the typical structure of a news story.

But what of those stories in which the research has shown the benefits of a particular innovation or initiative? Can you trust them? Unfortunately, the answer is ‘not necessarily’.

In this session, Terry Freedman looks at how research makes it into the news, and why reading isn’t necessarily believing — even when the research itself is faultless.

Poorly-reported research can have knock-on effects in school. For example, Governors or Trustees may refuse funding for a project if they have read that research ‘proves’ it’s a waste of money.

Fortunately, all is not lost, and there are steps you can take in order to protect yourself from this kind of ‘fake news’ and its potential consequences.


Terry Freedman has worked in education since 1975. He has taught in schools, been Head of Department, worked at the UK’s Qualifications & Curriculum Authority, held a senior position in a London local education authority, and was an Ofsted inspector for ICT and Business Education. He is now an independent educational ICT and Computing consultant and freelance writer, and publishes the ICT & Computing in Education website (www.ictineducation.org) and the Digital Education newsletter (www.ictineducation.org/diged), which is now in its 18th year. He has had published and has self-published several books on education.