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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.

Developing, Testing and Interpreting a Cross Age Peer Tutoring Intervention for Mathematics: Social Interdependence,Systematic Reviews and an Empirical Study.

The theoretical and practical value of the OECD policy advice for education.

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

  • 2015: Invited to talk: White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americas
  • 2015: Key note: Asia-Pacific Educational Assessment Conference
  • 2015: Winner: Excellence in Knowledge Transfer Award Durham University (joint)
  • Academician: Academy of Social Sciences
  • Adviser: German National Educational Panel Study
  • Editor (and originator): Online Educational Research Journal
  • Fellow: Centre for Assessment Research and Development, Hong Kong
  • Fellow: Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University
  • Inaugural Member: Sutton Trust's Education Advisory Group
  • Member: CEM's Research Advisory Board
  • Steering Group (originator): Rasch Users' Group UK


Research Interests

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

Research Groups

Research Projects

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Merrell, C. & Tymms, P. (2016). Assessing Young Children: Problems and Solutions. In Understanding What Works in Oral Reading Assessments: Recommendations from Donors, Implementers and Practitioners. Montreal: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). 126-133.
  • 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 Children, 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.

Edited book

  • 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.

Conference Paper

  • 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, 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, New York.

Conference Proceeding

Other (Print)


  • Tymms, P. & Merrell, C. (2016), What impact does the first year of school have on later success?, International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement. Glasgow.
  • Merrell, C., Sayal, K., Tymms, P. & Kasim, A. (2015), The Impact of Inattention, Hyperactivity and Impulsivity on Children’s Attainment at Age 11, American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. Chicago


Translated Book

Show all publications

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