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School of Education

Staff Profile

Prof Peter Tymms

Director iPIPS in the School of Education
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 48413

Contact Prof Peter Tymms


After taking a degree from Cambridge University in Natural Sciences Peter Tymms taught in a wide variety of schools from Central Africa to the north-east of England before starting an academic career.

He was “Lecturer in Performance Indicators” at Moray House, Edinburgh before moving to Newcastle University and then to Durham University where he is presently Professor of Education.
He is an adviser to the German NEPS project, led the start of the Online Educational Research Journal and started the PIPS project

His main research interests include monitoring, assessment, performance indicators, ADHD, reading and research methodology. The PIPS project, which is designed to monitor the affective and cognitive progress of children through primary schools starting with a computer adaptive on-entry baseline assessment. Peter Tymms was Director of the CEM Centre until 2011 when he took over as Head of Department and Chair of the Board of Studies in the School of Education. At present he is devoting his time to setting up an international project designed to study children starting school around the world. The project is known as iPIPS .

Completed Supervisions (since 2008)

The Binormal Hypothesis of Specific Learning Disabilities

Factors Underlying Students' Conceptions of Deep Time: An Exploratory Study

An Item Response Theory Approach to the Maintenance of
Standards in Public Examinations in England

Building Schools of Character: The Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a School-Based Character Education Programme Designed to Promote Cooperative Learning and Reduce Anti-Social Behaviour

Classroom management approaches of primary teachers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Descriptions and the development of curriculum and instruction with a focus on Islamic education teachers.

An exploration of the effects of group summative assessment marking on higher education students’ overall marks.

Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

Professor Tymms supervises doctoral students in the areas of monitoring the progress of students, classes, schools and countries; assessment, especially in the early years and especially using Rasch; International studies of attainment; Interventions and research methodology generally.

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2008: Expert Board for a Position Paper: Invited by Sir Roderick, Chair of the European Science Foundation's Standing Committee for the Social Sciences, to be part of an Expert Board for a Position Paper.
  • 2008: Invitation to be an Hon. Centre Research Fellow:

    I am now an Hon. Centre Research Fellow of CARD (Centre for Assessment Research & Development) in Hong Kong

  • 2006: 'Special Advisor' of NICE development group: 'Special Advisor' of the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) development group for ADHD
  • 2006: Keynote address at Pacific Rim Objective Measurement Symposium: Held in Hong Kong on 27, 28 & 29 June 2006
  • 2004: Invited address: Examining On-Entry Baseline Assessment Across Cultures, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
  • 2004: Keynote address for the Education Review Office Conference: Te Anga Whakamua Wellington, New Zealand
  • Keynote Address and academic seminar: Initiative for Applied Research in Education sponsored by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and Yad Hanadiv (The Rothschild Foundation) Jerusalem


Research Interests

  • Monitoring
  • Assessment & testing
  • Educational standards
  • Primary schools
  • ADHD

Research Groups

Research Projects

Selected Publications

Journal papers: academic

Journal papers: professional

  • Thomas, G. & Tymms, P. (2013). Open Access: The Future of Academic Publishing? Research Intelligence (120): 26.
  • Tymms, P. (2008). Diagnostic assessment makes its mark. Make the Grade: Journal of the Charered Institute of Educational Assessors Autumn 2008.

Books: authored

Books: edited

  • Newton, P., Baird, J-A., Goldstein, H, Patrick, H. & Tymms, P. (2008). Techniques for monitoring the comparability of examination standards. London: Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

Books: sections

  • Thurston, A., Tymms, P.B., Merrell, C. & Conlin, N. (2014). Improving Reading and Math Achievement across a Whole District. In Classroom Management and Assessment. Slavin, R. California: Corwin.
  • Tymms, P. (2012). Interventions: experiments. In Research Methods and Methodologies in Education. Arthur, J., Waring, M., Coe, R. & Hedges, L.V. Sage. 137-140.
  • Tymms, P. (2012). Questionnaires. In Arthur, J., Waring, M., Coe, R. & Hedges, L.V. Sage. 231-240.
  • Elliott, J. & Tymms, P. (2012). What the evidence says and what we need to investigate. In Contemporary Debates in Childhood Education and Development. Suggate, S. & Reese, E. Routledge. 275-284.
  • Tymms, P. (2010). Ability Testing. In International Encyclopedia of Education. Peterson, P., Baker, E. & McGaw, B. Oxford: Elsevier. 4: 1-6.
  • Tymms, P. & Merrell, C. (2009). Attainment, Standards and Quality. In Childrlen, their World, their Education: Final report and recommendations of the Cambridge Primary Review. Alexander, R. London: Routledge.
  • Tymms, P. & Coe, R. (2009). Conclusions: Assessment in an Era of Globalization. In Multicultural Psychoeducational Assessment. Grigorenko, E. Madison, WI: Apex. 469-485.
  • Tymms, P. & Merrell, C. (2009). On-entry Baseline Assessment across Cultures. In Early Childhood Education: Society and Culture. Anning, A., Cullen, J. & Fleers, M. London: Sage Publications. 117.128.
  • Tymms, P. (2008). Commentary on Chapter 10. In Techniques for monitoring the comparability of examination standards. Newton, P., Baird, J-A., Goldstein, H., Patrick, H. & Tymms, P. (eds) London: QCA. 434-438.
  • Coe, R., Tymms, P. & Fitz-Gibbon, C. (2008). Commentary on Chapter 8. In Techniques for monitoring the comparability of examination standards. Newton, P., Baird, J-A., Goldstein, H., Patrick, H. & Tymms, P. (eds) London: QCA. 324-329.

Articles: review

Conference papers

  • Tymms, P., Merrell, C., Henderson, B., Albone, S. & Jones, P. (2009), Learning Difficulties in the Primary School Years: Predictability from On-entry Baseline Assessment, XIV European Conference on Developmental Psychology. Vilnius.
  • Tymms, P., Merrell, C. & Jenkins, H. (2008), The advantage of impulsivity: An analysis of the components of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and their impact on attainment, AERA Annual Conference. New York.

Journal papers: online

Other media: research

  • Thomas, G. & Tymms, P. (2013). Academic Spring. Research Intelligence 26.

Other publications: research

Reports: official

  • Tymms, P., Merrell, C., Hawker, D. & Nicholson, F. (2014). Performance Indicators in Primary Schools: A comparison of performance on entry to school and the progress made in the first year in England and four other jurisdictions: Research report. Department for Education: London.
  • Taylor, E., Asherson, P., Bretherton, K., Bretherton, V., Hollis, C., Keen, D., Ryan, N., Salt, N., Sayal, K., Tymms, P. & Young, S. (2013). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; Evidence update 45. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Manchester.
  • Torgerson, C.J., Wiggins, A., Torgerson, D.J., Ainsworth, H., Barmby, P., Hewitt, C., Jones, K., Hendry, V., Askew, M., Bland, M. Coe, R., Higgins, S., Hodgen, J., Hulme, C. & Tymms, P. (2011). Every Child Counts: The Independent evaluation Executive Summary. Department for Education (DfE).
  • Torgerson, C.J., Wiggins, A., Torgerson, D.J., Ainsworth, H., Barmby, P., Hewitt, C., Jones, K., Hendry, V., Askew, M., Bland, M., Coe, R., Higgins, S., Hodgen, J., Hulme, C. & Tymms, P. (2011). The Every Child Counts Independent Evaluation Report to DfE.
  • Deighton, J., Barmby, P., Tymms, P., Croudace, T. & Wolpert, M. (2010). A review of impact and implementation issues in relation to Kidscreen and relevant other measures. University College London.
  • Tymms, P. & Coe, R. (2010). Me and My School: Preliminary Findings from the first year of the National Evaluation of Targeted Mental Health in Schools (2008-09).
  • Tymms, P. (2010). Scottish Government's class size policy. The Scottish Parliament.
  • Taylor, E., Kendall, T., Asherson, P., Bailey, S., Bretherton, K., Brown, A., Costigan, L., Duncan, A., Harpin, V., Hollis, C., Keen, D., Lewis, A., Mavranezouli, I., Merrell, C., Mulligan, D., Perez, A., Pettinari, C., Ryan, N., Salt, N., Sayal, K., Sheppard, L., Stockton, S., Taylor, C., Thorley, G, Turner, J., Tymms, P., Wolpert, M., Wong, I. & Young, S. (2009). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: The NICE Guideline on Diagnosis and Management of ADHD in Children, Young People and Adults. Practice Guideline No. 72. London, The British Psychological Society and The Royal College of Psychiatrists.
  • Vidmar, M. & Tymms, P.B. (2009). Performance Indicators in Primary Schools: On-entry Baseline Assessment and follow-up Material (PIPS-BA. Ljubljana, Pedagoski institut.
  • Research Group:, Wolpert, M., Fonagy, P., Frederickson, N., Day, C., Rutter, M., Humphrey, N, Vostanis, P., Meadows, P., Croudace, T., Tymms, P. & Brown, J. (2008). Review and recommendations for national policy for England for the use of mental health outcome measures with children and young people. Evidence Based Practice Unit.
  • Coe, R.J. & Tymms, P.B. (2008). Summary of research on changes in educational standards in the UK. Institute of Directors. London.
  • Tymms, P.B. (2008). Testing and Assessment. House of Commons Select Committee. London, The Stationery Office Limited.

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Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • General policy: standards in education
  • General policy: monitoring, tracking and league tables
  • General policy: assessments
  • General policy: schools