About BES

Information about the BES Programme


The Iterative BES Programme is a collaborative knowledge building and use strategy to strengthen the evidence base that informs education policy and practice in New Zealand.

The focus on valued student outcomes, the trustworthiness of evidence and the emphasis on research from New Zealand are key features of BES. The main outputs of the Iterative BES Programme are BES Iterations.  The BES iterations are a significant source of research evidence for policy advisers.

In recognition of the policy significance of the BES reports the International Academy of Education is progressively publishing summaries of recent BESs on the UNESCO website.

In the UK House of Commons on June 9 2015, there was a launch of new umbrella review of international reviews of professional learning and development. In September 2014 the Teacher Development Trust (TDT) alongside TES Global commissioned Durham University Professors Rob Coe and Steve Higgins, Centre for the Use of Research Evidence in Education  founder Philippa Cordingley and Professor Toby Greany of University of London  Institute of Education to conduct a review of the International Research in to what constitutes effective professional development for teachers.Out of 947 source reviews the New Zealand Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis Programme'sTeacher Professional Learning and Development BESwas found to be the most consistent and rigorous – the strongest evidence. Accordingly the New Zealand Best Evidence Synthesis has substantively informed this new evidence about what it takes to develop great teaching that makes a difference for student achievement.

Internationally recognised authority on educational reform, Professor Emeritus Michael Fullan, writes in a new foreword for the School Leadership and Student Outcomes BES that the Ministry's Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis publications are "the single best research review series on education matters around the world."

He says the findings of the leadership BES (first published in 2009) have enduring significance, and challenges all partners in New Zealand education "to make sure that the findings and implications from this synthesis [are] used as a point of departure for new action."

Read Professor Fullan's foreword

In a departure from its previous role, the BES Programme is doing exactly this to support sustainable implementation in three Porirua East schools of a world-leading pedagogy (BES Exemplar 1: Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities).

The pedagogy and innovative professional learning model have been developed by Associate Professor Bobbie Hunter and continues to be further developed by Pasifika educational research and development leaders, Associate Professor Bobbie Hunter,  Dr Jodie Hunter and Professor Glenda Anthony of Massey University. The BES Exemplar finding shows that when well-implemented this culturally responsive approach enables 4-5 years of accelerated improvement in mathematics, oral language and pro-social problem-solving skills for students as well as significantly improving other literacy skills.

The project emphasises effective collaboration and fast learning about 'adaptive implementation' – championed by Fullan  between the school communities, the BES Programme at National Office, the Lower Hutt Regional Office, and Massey University.

Hardcopies of the BES resources are available free to New Zealand educators from orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz