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Prof Peter Tymms

Emeritus Professor

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Emeritus Professor in the School of Education  
Fellow in the Durham Research Methods Centre  
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing +44 (0) 191 33 48413


Emeritus Professor in the School of Education

Fellow of the British Academy

Academician: Academy of Social Sciences

Fellow in the Durham Research Methods Centre

Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

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 led the start of the UK Rasch User Group 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 .

Affiliate of the Durham University Evidence Centre for Education

Completed Supervisions

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.

Teachers’ perceptions on the effectiveness of the Oxford Online Placement Test at King Abdulaziz University

Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

Professor Tymms is semi-retired and is not taking on new students

Research interests

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

Research Projects

Awarded Grants

  • 2017: Improving Basic Education in Grade 1 in Lesotho: pilot(£40000.00 from David and Elaine Potter Foundation)
  • 2016: Improving the educational outcomes of children in Russia and South Africa(£15121.00 from ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics (INNOGEN))
  • 2016: Standard Deviation as an Outcome of Interventions: A Methodological Intervention(£3602.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2016: iPIPS Brazil(£42100.00 from Instituto Alpha E Beto)
  • 2014: Embedding Research-Based Interventions for Improving Literacy into Teachers' Everyday Practice(£176986.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2014: Establishing a Baseline of Children Starting School and Monitoring Progress in the First Year in Primary Schools of the Western Cape, South Africa(£81868.13 from The Nuffield Foundation)
  • 2014: Preparing two Reports for the ESP Project(£13228.00 from OECD)
  • 2013: An Analysis of PIPS Data for Scotland(£1838.66 from The Scottish Government)
  • 2013: International Comparison of Early Years Outcomes(£14978.00 from Department for Education)
  • 2012: Physical Activity and Wellbeing in Schools(£394897.52 from ESRC)
  • 2011: Impact study of school inspections on teaching and learning(£150012.53 from European Commission)
  • 2008: AN EVALUATION OF THE TARGETED MENTAL HEALTH(£302750.00 from Department for Children, Schools and Families)
  • 2008: SCIENCE IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS(£12250.00 from The Wellcome Trust)
  • 2007: C2k(£580661.00 from Western Education & Library Board)
  • 2007: ENTRANCE TESTS(£35500.00 from MISC Local Authority)
  • 2006: KTP - FIFE COUNCIL(£359100.00 from Fife Council)
  • 2005: STUDENTS ACADEMIC ABILITY EVALUATION SYSTEM(£459126.00 from National Centre for School Curriculum & Textbook Development)
  • 2004: WHOLE SCHOOLS APPROACH EVALUATION(£76000.00 from )

Esteem Indicators

  • Academician: Academy of Social Sciences
  • Fellow of the British Academy:
  • Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University:
  • Inaugural Member: Sutton Trust's Education Advisory Group
  • Member: Education Advisory Group Education Endowment Foundation
  • Originator: Online Educational Research Journal
  • Winner: Excellence in Knowledge Transfer Award Durham University ;(joint: 2015)

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


Authored book

  • Ndaji, F. & Tymms, P. (2009). The P Scales: Assessing the Progress of Children with Special Educational Needs. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • P. Tymms (1999). Baseline Assessment and Monitoring in Primary Schools. David Fulton Publishers.

Book review

  • Tymms, P. (2006). Review of 'Assessing Teacher Effectiveness: Develoing a differentiated model'. British Educational Research Journal 32(4): 638-639.

Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Conference Proceeding

  • Dr. Phil Johnson & Professor Peter Tymms (2005). Understanding Science: Is there just one road up the mountain?. BERA Annual Conference, University of Glamorgan.

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.

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

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.


  • Tymms,P. & Kasim, A. (2018). Standard Deviation as an outcome on interventions: a methodological investigation. Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).
  • Tymms, P., Howie, S., Merrell, C., Combrick, C. & Copping, L. (2017). The First Year at School in the Western Cape: Growth, Development and Progress. London, Nuffield Foundation.
  • Tymms, P., Merrell, C. & Buckley, H. (2015). Children's development at the start of school in Scotland and the progress made during their first school year: An analysis of PIPS baseline and follow-up assessment data. School of Education, Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring. Edinburgh, UK, The Scottish Government.
  • 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. London, Department for Education.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tymms, P. & Merrell, C. (2007). Standards and Quality in English Primary Schools Over Time: the national evidence. Cambridge.
  • Wiggins, A., Jones, K. & Tymms, P. (2006). Executive Summary of the National Evaluation of Xlerate with XL. Scottish Executive Social Research.
  • Tymms, P., Heron, T. & Albone, S. (2005). The Performance of Newcastle Schools: Report 3 for the Commission. School of Education. Durham, Curriculum Evaluation and Management Centre.
  • Tymms, P., Albone, S., Barmby, P., Kokotsaki, D., Merrell, C. & Searle, J. (2005). The Performance of Newcastle Schools: Report 5 for the Commission. School of Education. Durham, Curriculum Evaluation and Management Centre.
  • Tymms, P., Heron, T., Merrell, C., Jones, P., Albone, S. & Henderson, B. (2005). The Performance of Newcastle Schools: Report 2 for the Commission. School of Education. Durham, CEM Centre.
  • Tymms, P., Jones, P., Merrell, C., Henderson, B. & Cowie, M. (2005). Children Starting School in Scotland: A Report of Research Funded by Seed. Scottish Executive Education Department.
  • Tymms, P., Merrell, C., Henderson, B. & Cowie, M. (2004). Children Starting School in Scotland. A report of research funded by the Scottish Executive Education Department. School of Education. Durham, CEM Centre.
  • Tymms, P., Coe, R. & Barmby,P. (2002). Module 2 summary: LEA focus. Basic Skills Agency.
  • Tymms, P., Coe, R. & Barmby, P. (2002). Primary quality mark research: module 1 summary. Basic Skills Agency.

Translated Book

Supervision students