Independent Review of TEF: Call for views.

Closed 1 Mar 2019

Opened 18 Jan 2019

Feedback updated 23 Mar 2021

We asked

As part of the independent review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) conducted by Dame Shirley Pearce, the Department for Education called for a wide range of views on the TEF from across the higher education sector, students, employers and the wider public on Dame Shirley’s behalf.

The consultation (the TEF review ‘call for views’) invited respondents to indicate whether they think changes are needed to ensure that the TEF process is robust, resilient and fit for purpose in the future.

You said

Respondents indicated high levels of support for the TEF’s aim of assessing the quality of teaching excellence and student outcomes across providers of higher education, with many sharing a view that it would help to re-balance research and teaching activities in higher education, and provide a specific focus on improvement and enhancement within both teaching and learning.

Some responses were positive that the TEF provided a greater focus on improving teaching quality and increasing opportunities for students to be more engaged in making decisions about their teaching and learning.

Some expressed concern about the suitability of the TEF criteria and the metrics and proxies used in the measurement. Some respondents felt that the complexity of HE teaching excellence was not captured by providers being awarded a single TEF rating. But many responses anticipated that the costs and bureaucracy associated with subject-level TEF would be likely to be much greater than for provider-level TEF, with specific concerns around the impact on smaller providers and on providers offering many subjects.

Some respondents were concerned that the current design of the TEF disproportionately impacted on smaller providers, subjects that did not generate high paid employment, providers in weaker employment markets, and those with diverse student intakes.

We did

The ‘call for views’ informed the findings and recommendations in Dame Shirley Pearce’s report of her independent review, which was published, along with the government response on 21 January 2021.

The Office for Students will be consulting on the future TEF model later this spring. The Government would like to see the revised TEF framework in place, with assessments completed and new ratings published by autumn 2022.


The Independent Reviewer of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) is seeking evidence to inform her report.

Why your views matter

Dame Shirley Pearce has been appointed to conduct an independent review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF).  

The call for views is one part of the evidence she will use in reviewing the TEF to ensure that it is robust, resilient and fit for purpose.

She is keen to seek a wide range of views from across the HE sector and beyond in order to inform her review so invites and encourages everyone to have their say.

Shirley expects to report to the Secretary of State in summer 2019.

What happens next

The evidence gathered from this call for views will inform Dame Shirley Pearce's report. She expects to report to the Secretary of State in summer 2019.

Her recommendations will be considered before the implementation of subject-level TEF.


  • Teachers
  • Adult education providers
  • Further education colleges
  • 16-18 year old students resident at these institutions
  • Pupils
  • Young people
  • Parents
  • Employers
  • Universities


  • HE