There is a core editorial team and Founder Members and Associates are invited to nominate colleagues for expert Editorial Boards which operate as and when required.

Structure and content of guides and ratings: We have found different forms of knowledge for teaching lead to Guides of different structures. Every Guide, however, should have a statement about the strength of evidence and transferability of the advice so that educators can use their professional judgement and knowledge of their context to make a judgement about whether and how the advice in the guide might improve learning in their classroom and so researchers/research commissioners can find under-researched areas quickly. The research supporting the Guides is published for readers who wish to have more detail.

Editorial Boards make decisions about the transferability and also the strength of evidence of Guides with 5* the highest and 1* lowest. The rating system guides Editorial Boards in taking decisions about the replacement or amendment of existing Guides as stronger evidence becomes available. The ratings provide general guidance only. In time, with further software development, Guides will be colour coded (red, amber, green).

Appeals: The Chief Editorial Board considers appeals against ratings. A sub-committee appointed by the Chief Editorial Board resolves disputes about rating within a month of the dispute coming to the Board’s attention. Their decision is presented to the Board for ratification.

Strength of evidence: MESHGuides are intended to support system improvement. Ratings are used to guide potential researchers and research funders looking for an area which is under-researched and for users of the Guides so that they have a sense of the weight of evidence underpinning the advice in the Guide. Much of the research into pedagogy is small scale and if that is all there is, then such studies may be included until a further study of higher quality is put forward for inclusion. It is intended that Guides are updated as new knowledge becomes available so that knowledge accumulates in the one Guide on a topic, rather than being replicated in multiple individual Guides.knowledge to accumulate. Over time, the quality of research should improve as research effort is targeted so that more Guides achieve a higher rating.

Transferability: This rating refers to transferability across the 5 UNESCO regions. In many cases, it is likely that the Guide may have the country of origin indicated where the findings are focused on one country.  Guides may be published in any language. Translation is then undertaken within the originating country or using the Google Translate tool at the top right of every page..

Table 1 Criteria for Strength of Evidence and Transferability star ratings. Colour coding will be used when the software facilitates this.

Colour code/stars Explanation
Dark green


The editorial board considers that the evidence base is strong and the guidance has strong implications for practice internationally across the five UNESCO regions. The criteria below  are met and exceeded.
Light Green


The editorial board considers the evidence to have very strong implications for practice in the country/countries in which the research was carried out. Systematic reviews, a synthesis of several major studies may produce this level of evidence or major studies including teacher-researcher networks covering more than one country. PhD/EdD theses may be at this level.


The editorial board considers that the evidence, while based on a limited sample or restricted context, is strong enough for practitioners to consider, e.g. a study extending over several years or several contexts or research from teacher-researcher networks in several different regions in the one country. PhD/EdD theses may be at this level.


The editorial board considers that the evidence is strong enough for teachers to consider the findings, but that further research would be particularly helpful. Research from teacher-researcher networks in one region may fall into this category.


The editorial board considers that the evidence suggests the findings will be of interest to educators, but that more research is needed in different contexts and with wider groups of learners to test out generalizability. Emergent practice, Masters level theses, small scale action research studies undertaken in one school or classroom would normally be at this level. This rating would be used where a group of educators have produced a guide which represents accepted practice but for which there is as yet a limited research base.