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My own personal view on UK Education and bits n bobs


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New Accountability – thoughts and questions

UPDATE – based on the Update on Progress 8 measure and Stuart Locks’s blog (http://mrlock.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/what-is-happening-with-the-best-8-measure/)

Since the @headsroundtable meeting with @timleunig  I had been asking questions of what the new progress measure means to my school.  A few things I hadn’t been able to get right in my head and I couldn’t work out why.

Over time a couple of comments and assumptions started to get me thinking about the curriculum we are about to offer students in year:

  1. The measure appears to be based on APS with the total based on the basket divided by 8 (see my assumptions below.  So if only 7 subjects count it is still divided by 8. – because of the double count the actual final will be divided by 10 (if a student completes Maths & English and 6 others that count)
  2. The calculations threw an oddity with the double count of English & maths. It appears that a student that gets 8 Cs but will count as a B (and so on in all grades) for accountability, as long as there are no Ebacc gaps – see above
  3. It does appear that @headteachers’ blog (http://headteachersroundtable.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/accountability-roundtable-october-16th/) and @RosMcM’s (http://www.labourteachers.org.uk/blog/2013/10/19/6-reasons-to-smile-about-the-new-accountability-measures-for-schools-and-academies/) blog points about lower ability students stand, as long as the student sits English Literature and passes English and maths.
  4. For student capable of gaining Cs it appears that it is better to get a student worse grades but have no gaps in the ebacc part of the basket in their best 8, than a kids better grades but a gap (ie one gets mixture of Cs and Ds but 3 grades in ebacc does better than a student with better grades but missing an ebacc).
  5. One further question.  With the matrix for progress being set by the exam results last year, will there be analysis on how much the current best eight measure is skewed by BTECs? –  the benchmark will be based on the 2016 exams so the possibility of BTECs taken last year skewing the average is removed

What have i learnt?

  1. This is undoubtedly a better measure than 5A*toC including (or as @timleunig put it “the 5 Cs measure”)
  2. As a school it is now vital that you get as many students as possible to have their basket of courses right.  For us we will be checking post options that every student capable has three ebacc subjects to avoid any gaps.  But, apparently the straight jacket of the old ebacc has gone, as triple scientists have their three (although question marks remain on how much double science will count…or a normal curriculum choice in schools will require only one more ebacc to ensure this part of the basket has no gaps.
  3. I have concerns about the 30% of our current Year 9s that don’t have KS2 data
  4. It will be risky to only offer 8 subjects, but the new examination system may force this as the amount of end of Year 11 exams is starting to look daunting for students
  5. I am still very nervous about the dead hand of politicians getting to this
  6. The move to pariety of English Literature and Language is very welcome – especially as the better score will count for the double as English (so a student does better in Literature that becomes the english grade that counts as part of the accountability and the language grade will count in the ‘other three’.

EDIT – @timleunig contacted me to express that the grade scores listed below had not been decided.  But, they are looking at possible replacements for the 58 for an A* and so on.  I would suggest mirroring the 1-9 that has been put forward by OFQUAL. (Update – so it was 1 -9 then!)

EDIT – I removed the calculations as they are clearly wrong!
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