Having completed a professional Doctorate (EdD) under the expert supervision of the late Professor Bob Burden, founder of the Cognitive Education Development Unit (CEDU) at Exeter University, Dr Dave Walters continued his partnership with Professor Burden as Honorary Fellow at Exeter University working specifically as a core member of the CEDU.

This has allowed him to bring together his Doctoral expertise in the field of formative assessment, evaluation and organisational change together with cognitive education. This background, aligned to over 30 years experience in schools as a teacher and leader, together with over 25 years in higher education, provides a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience to draw upon in the fields of assessment, evaluation, cognitive education and organisational growth.


The CEDU team has continued to advance the work of Professor Burden latterly under the co-ordination of Director, Professor Vivienne Baumfield, and now under the co-ordination of Director, Dr Judith Kleine Staarman. Central to this is the promotion of the ‘Thinking Schools’ educational approach devised by Professor Bob Burden and Thinking Schools International (TSI).

This partnership allows schools the opportunity to benefit from TSI’s training in the use of cognitive tools, together with the CEDU evaluation/accreditation as a ‘Thinking School’.


  • Walters D (2009) One Vision, Many Eyes. A Social Constructivist Approach to Embedding Formative Assessment and Evaluation in a Secondary School Publisher: Exeter University

  • Walters D (2012) ‘One vision, many eyes: reflections on leadership and change’ International Journal of Leadership in Education: Theory and Practice Vol. 15 No. 1

  • Walters D (2013) ‘Cognitive tools across the curriculum’ Creative Teaching and Learning Vol. 4 No. 2

  • Walters D (2013) ‘Unleash your inner evaluator’ School Leadership Today Vol. 5 No. 2

  • Walters D (2014) ‘Grounded practice: putting the ‘self’ back into self-evaluation’ Educational Action Research Vol. 22 No. 1

The GPP Specifics

View the specifics of our ground-breaking GPP

GPP Specifics


View the Grounded Practice Educational Services Pioneering GPP 


Evidence of impact

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Evidence of Impact

The Set Up Process

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GPP Set Up

Costs and Next Steps

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Next Steps & Costs

Purpose & Features

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Purpose & Features

The GPP Specifics

The GPP provides a clear 3 year development plan based on the 15 criteria used for accreditation as a ‘Thinking School’ and the 5 additional criteria used for accreditation as an ‘Advanced Thinking School’.

It then provides a professional development framework using ‘A’, ‘T’, ‘E’ as its structure. Teachers, Leaders and Support Staff will therefore receive support, guidance and instruction in the following 3 areas:

  • Assessment
  • Teaching
  • Evaluation

Developed by teachers for teachers

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"Bringing learning to life"

GPES has developed an industry leading programme (GPP) through Dr Dave Walters that has the core values and moral purpose of organisations at the core of a self-improving system.

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