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Controlled Assessments - Teacher's absences

(2 Posts)
differenttoyou Wed 12-Feb-14 12:36:24

Would like your opinions on what has been happening during the last couple of weeks, especially from any Secondary teachers out there.

Year 10 Controlled assessment taking place this week. Preparation has overlapped with another assessment in the same subject. Kids were told that they weren't going to have to do the previous assessment. School changed their mind and gave the kids very short notice to prepare.

During the preparation time for this week's assessment the teacher missed a least one lesson due to being on a course. Details relating to both the question they were told to prepare for and the schedule of homework kept changing. The kids felt very confused about what was actually expected from them. Eventually we thought it had all been sorted out though DS wasn't too happy on Sunday as he thought that he wasn't prepared enough.

Assessment started on Monday. Class teacher was present. All seemed to go well. The assessment was held in a different classroom to their usual one. Yesterday the kids were in yet a different classroom but their regular teacher was on a course. Cover teacher turned up late as she didn't know the room had been changed then proceeded to argue with the kids. The kids knew about the change of room and their regular teacher had told them the day before that she wouldn't be there. More time was lost because the computers weren't set up correctly.

Would you expect teachers to be present for all lesson leading up to an assessment and to be present during the assessment or is it normal for them to attend courses during these periods? Does this amount of disorganization surrounding assessments sound normal?

I wrote to the school but they are always very defensive in their responses. The parents end up feeling wrong for asking questions or complaining.

Clonakiltylil Wed 12-Feb-14 15:40:12

The school day carries on as usual. Controlled assessments are simply part of that and as they go on across most of the KS4 terms and across many subjects there might well be days when a teacher is absent for a whole host of reasons. As the students would work independently on the days of the actual assessment and presumably in silence, it would not matter if another person was covering as long as they were properly briefed by the Head of Department and knew what to expect.

That brings me to my second point. Clearly there was a breakdown in communication at your school. The cover teacher should have known what was going on. It is still possible for the time to be made up, though, the students should not feel they have had the time cut short because of computer hitches and teacher not knowing where the class had been reroomed. But these things happen in a school. What is important is that the students are not disadvantaged and that they have the allocated time to complete.

Comtrolled assessments are a nightmare to organise, in fairness. Thank goodness they are on their way out!

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