Mary James is Professor and Associate Director of Research at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education. She is Vice President (President Elect) of the British Educational Research Association. From 2005 to 2008 she held a Chair of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, where she was Deputy Director of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Teaching and Learning Research Program – the largest investment in educational research and capacity building ever in the UK. She had responsibility for supporting its 22 school-based projects and was herself the director of one of the largest of these projects: ‘Learning How to Learn – in classrooms, schools and networks’. Mary was a member of the UK Assessment Reform Group from 1992 to 2010, and was the overseas member of the Curriculum Development Council, of the Hong Kong Government’s Education Bureau. She was founding editor of The Curriculum Journal and serves, or has served, on the editorial or boards of Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability and Assessment in Education. Her research interests are in the interactions among curriculum, assessment, pedagogy, and their implications for teachers’ professional development, school leadership and education policy. This was stimulated by her ten years experience teaching RE, English and social studies in secondary schools.