Initial Hypothesis: The Game of Teaching Excellence

Download and print a fully playable game based on the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF).

A card game for 2-5 players, lasting 30-40 minutes, Initial Hypothesis is a fast-paced game of skill and luck, in which each player seeks to secure a Gold TEF rating before their opponents do.

  • Go for Gold at the helm of one of five renowned English institutions, including the Universities of Poppleton and Oxbridge.
  • Collect a full set of TEF metrics – and don’t forget the need for a strong provider submission.
  • Sabotage your opponents with negative flags and poor splits.
  • Play key characters to gain access to powerful new actions.
  • Bolster your score with core documentation and positive Wonkhe coverage.

Firmly rooted in the genuine TEF methodology, and using the ‘classic’ Year Two method for calculating the initial hypothesis, The Game of Teaching Excellence condenses the rigour of the assessment process into half an hour of tactics, deviousness and chance. What will be your final rating: Gold or Bronze?

To play, simply download the manual and cards – the latter should be printed and cut out in order to play.

Initial Hypothesis Manual

Initial Hypothesis Cards


A note on images

  • With the exception of the two individuals who are public figures, all other images, or individuals or universities either belong to me or are in the public domain, tagged as free to reuse by Google.
  • No images are pictures of current or former employees of DfE, HEFCE, QAA or OfS. The images of universities are similarly not intended to represent real universities.
  • In the unlikely event that any individual from a stock photo used in this game has an objection to being depicted here, please contact me at and I will remove it.


Initial Hypothesis: The Game of Teaching Excellence has also been added to the Games – Board Games section of this website.