Jo Johnson MP witnesses GL Education’s partnership signing on ministerial mission to China


The Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson MP, has today witnessed the signing of a partnership agreement with international assessment provider, GL Education, and China Future School Lab, the commercial arm of the National Institute of Education Sciences (NIES), a branch of the Ministry of Education in China.

The partnership will see the adaptation of GL Education’s flagship Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) for state schools in China as part of a 10-year framework agreement. Together, GL Education and NIES have invested resource and funds to develop a Mandarin version of the assessment, which is the most widely used test of reasoning abilities in the UK. Operational mini-trials will be taking place in Beijing schools this September, before a nationwide trial involving 25,000 children in November.

CAT4 is used to provide an understanding of student potential by identifying their strengths, weaknesses and thinking preferences, providing accurate and reliable information for teaching and learning. Results also help schools to identify gifted and talented students and those who may be under-achieving, as well as those who may have unrecognised special educational needs. Reports provide teachers with recommendations for teaching and learning, based on each individual student’s results.

Greg Watson, Chief Executive of GL Education, said: “Assessment has value worldwide as a means of supporting personalised learning, school improvement and national reform programmes by giving concrete evidence of success, as well as pinpointing any areas for improvement. China has today demonstrated its commitment to using formative assessments to innovate and improve teaching and learning across its schools.

“The Chinese education system is experiencing an extensive and profound transformation and recent policy directives have highlighted the need for formative assessments such as CAT4 to understand the potential and the progress of the children at its schools. It is looking for the best solutions from around the world and we are delighted to be part of that movement, bringing about significant benefits to millions of children in Chinese state schools in the process.”

Wang Su, Director, International and Comparative Education Research Center, National Institute of Education Sciences, said: “We are delighted to be working with GL Education on this ground-breaking project. NIES has a unique place in the Chinese state education system, with the vision and authority to enact important reforms. CAT4 can help mould teaching and learning in a way that has never been achieved before in China, giving schools and teachers a detailed all-round understanding of each individual student. As an important starting point for formative assessment in our country, we want CAT4 to be the catalyst for a nationwide movement to get the best out of every boy and girl in China, irrespective of economic status.”

The signing formed part of a ministerial mission to China organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA).

Patrick Hayes, Director of BESA, said: “If you are looking of evidence of UK government working with industry to forge new trade relations following the Brexit vote, look no further than this EdTech trade mission to China. As the partnership agreement with GL Education shows, the interest in UK's world-leading EdTech sector by China over recent months is unprecedented. We are confident this important partnership between GL Education and NIES will develop to the benefit of teachers and students across China.”


About GL Education

For over 35 years, GL Education has been a provider of high-quality, research-based assessments for children’s education, mental health and wellbeing.

Having delivered over 7 million digital tests, we are the UK’s leading provider of formative assessments and our tests are used in schools in over 100 countries worldwide to address the challenges of admissions, benchmarking, measuring progress and working with significant numbers of EAL students.

54 Jo Johnson MP