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To think that, assuming a normal distribution, just under 50% of schools are bound to be "below average"

(50 Posts)
Donki Fri 10-Jun-11 21:01:10

OK, be gentle! It's my first (and probably last) AIBU - but steam is coming out of my ears!

OFSTED are now to fail any schools that have below average results........

Surely that just means we will constantly end up with nearly 50% of schools being failed.

activate Fri 10-Jun-11 21:03:44

no because there is no longer any competition in education

there are arbitrarily set levels

the levels themselves are not competitive for the individuals taking them so everyone can pass

academic strictures no longer apply

it's all bollocks - and OFSTED are a waste of space if you ask me

missorinoco Fri 10-Jun-11 21:04:55

Yup. Sounds correct to me.
Sadly seems to sell papers.

activate Fri 10-Jun-11 21:04:58

the phrase lowest common denominator (with the lowest common denominator being a person who cannot write grammatically, think logically or add competently and is virtually unemployable) springs to mind

OnlyWantsOne Fri 10-Jun-11 21:05:22

What activate said.

This isn't really a BU thread. It's just being pissed off at a shut system.

Hth

activate Fri 10-Jun-11 21:07:03

Oh and it seems that society now sends children to school to be taught how to control themselves so school finds it difficult to educate because 90% of teacher time is taken up with behaviour management

and oh it's ok for children to phyically assault and mentally abuse the adults and the adults just have to take it

and take it

and take it

wotnochocs Fri 10-Jun-11 21:07:40

So activate 'the average ' levels aren't actually average at all, is that what you are saying?

Blu Fri 10-Jun-11 21:08:24

There is a differnece between the school being judged average within a scale of schools - in which case yes, there would be a spread of schools below and above mean and all those below would fail even if perectly respectable in performance.

BUT if they intend to fail schools in which the results from a spread of children are below average, then that is maybe fairer because a reasonable school should be able to produce esults whihc match the national average.

But my ability to understand and explain what I mean where statistics are concerned is well below average, so you need a mathematicain to come along!

activate Fri 10-Jun-11 21:10:36

mean, median or mode?

what if the school has over 60% student body with special needs?

what if 20% of children enter secondary unable to read or write beyond a level 2?

BatmanLovesRobin Fri 10-Jun-11 21:11:41

Yes, and satisfactory no longer means satisfactory. Satisfactory means below par to Ofsod.

They expect all children to be Level 4 at the end of Year 6, a level that they have deemed average. Therefore, they expect all children to be average or better. The mind boggles.

AlpinePony Fri 10-Jun-11 21:12:08

Oh Jesus a klaxon just went off. You can't just wade in with logic like that. sad

activate Fri 10-Jun-11 21:12:54

Govt target of 5 GCSEs at level A to C will probably be this "average"

activate Fri 10-Jun-11 21:15:14

" a reasonable school should be able to produce esults whihc match the national average."

you speak as though school intake is homogenous and the area it is in has no bearing on the matter

so a school in the suburbs compared to an inner city with massive poverty?

Rosebud05 Fri 10-Jun-11 21:17:17

That's the thing I don't get about KS1 scores.

If 4 is average, it seems to be that a school that gets over 50% level 4 or above is doing its job, but this is deemed as failing.

A lovely school near us has been given a notice to improve recently, precisely because its KS2 averages weren't good enough. They're having a lot of intervention/support from the borough which is the postive, but it's horrible that such a rigid tool of assessment carries so much weight.

Rosebud05 Fri 10-Jun-11 21:17:28

That's the thing I don't get about KS2 scores.

If 4 is average, it seems to be that a school that gets over 50% level 4 or above is doing its job, but this is deemed as failing.

A lovely school near us has been given a notice to improve recently, precisely because its KS2 averages weren't good enough. They're having a lot of intervention/support from the borough which is the postive, but it's horrible that such a rigid tool of assessment carries so much weight.

dikkertjedap Fri 10-Jun-11 21:23:15

You are only right if school performance follows a normal distribution. However, why do you think it would? I would be surprised to be honest ...

Tortu Fri 10-Jun-11 21:24:03

Oh god, well that's my school failing then.

<thinks sadly of our kickass value added, our off-the-scale percentage of children on free school meals, our 99% EAL and the majority of our children who come from backgrounds where neither parent works>

Donki Fri 10-Jun-11 21:27:57

OK Dikkertjedap that sounds like a challenge.....lets stick the league tables into excel and see what happens.

ZXEightyMum Fri 10-Jun-11 21:30:49

I've always been bemused when statisticians tell us that 50% of x value is "below average" as if it's a horribly shocking thing.

I remember being told that 85% of ALL children are below average in terms of achievement at primary level. How the fuck does that compute?

ginmakesitallok Fri 10-Jun-11 21:34:18

Because the average isn't necessarily in the middle....

MillyR Fri 10-Jun-11 21:35:20

But surely statistics doesn't work like that? You could group scores and then say one group was the median. The median could have 80% of schools in it, with only 10% above and below?

It is rather like me saying that the average person has 2 legs. It doesn't mean half the population has 1 leg or none.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding.

sillybillies Fri 10-Jun-11 21:36:31

shocking, bit like the arbitary 30% national challenge for 5 A-C's. Where did they pull the 30% from?

milliemae Fri 10-Jun-11 21:42:15

Lovely post, Donki, but I can see how your fears may be unfounded.

First, I don't think you're right to assume school results will be normally distributed: that tends to be the outcome of natural and unforced populations. The pressure on schools to succeed probably means that the distribution of results will be substantially skewed to the upper end, with a long tail down to the lower end. So the mean will be substantially below the median: as much as 2/3 could be "above average".

Secondly, once you've established your mean, you can then fudge it in lots of perfectly proper ways: confidence levels, corrections for Value Added, socio-economic factors etc.

I think what it really means is that OFSTED want to get away from time-tabled inspections and towards needs-based ones; so they are going to use this kind of performance related analysis to trigger inspections (Not even OFSTED are going to fail a school without inspecting it 1st).

Hope this makes sense...

troisgarcons Fri 10-Jun-11 21:44:20

Average? 50%

Any school that doesnt 'get' 30% A*-C is deemed failing .... now apply that to industry or business .... 70% failure rate is acceptable....

Donki Fri 10-Jun-11 21:51:05

I am sorry Troisgarcons - I don't understand your post

And I may be gone sometime if I try to wrestle with Excel - I am dreadfully out of practice

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