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Advice please re school mess up controlled assessment

(23 Posts)
nostress Wed 26-Mar-14 10:54:50

Eldest son in Y11. The school have majorly messed up the controlled assessments for his Business studies GCSE. These were done at the beginning of Y11. There were a number of issues with the running including faulty laptops and not actually teaching the content of the course before they had to do the assessments based on that content. After this the teacher became increasingly sick and absent a lot. She finally left at Christmas and was replaced by a new teacher. We were told by the new teacher that the first teacher majorly messed up the controlled assessments (amongst other things) and they would be run again. Great I thought. Then last Wednesday the kids were told that they would not be run again (because it would take 10+hours) and they would instead concentrate on revising as the exams are worth 75%. DS has been revising since January anyhow so this is well underway at home. I emailed the school last week but it took until last night for someone to call me (after 3 follow up emails from me). The vice principle says that DS has got 1 UMS mark off a C (so a D/rubbish) but he shouldn’t worry too much as he’s doing alright in his other GCSEs. Basically saying they will not be run again . It also transpires that the second business studies teacher has also left so they now have the third teacher since Christmas.
DS wanted to do A level Business studies…
What should I do? DS wants to do it again as he says he is confident that he could do much better now as he has actually learnt the material. In Business studies you have to redo the whole lot you cant just redo a bit.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 26-Mar-14 11:01:08

Bizarre - my DD had very similar experience with Business Studies GCSE a couple of years ago - you're not in Wilts are you?

I don't think there is anything you can do this year, this late in the day. DS could probably re-sit next year, but I don't think you need Business Studies GCSE to do Business Studies A Level. However, would there be the same issues at A Level? Does the same teacher teach both levels?

bigTillyMint Wed 26-Mar-14 11:02:20

That is so rubbish. DD (and half of the others taking triple science, by the sound of it) did similarly in her Chemistry ISA - she was gutted as it is 25% of the GCSE. They are getting support with revision and are retaking it, as you would expect.

Can you try to kick up a fuss? Has he got any friends who want to redo theirs - you could get together to kick up a fuss?

nostress Wed 26-Mar-14 11:13:54

No not in wilts! Well he was chatting to others on Facebook last night and others are not happy. They didn't even know the teacher had left! Its totally rubbish. I just sat there open mouthed when the teacher said well he's doing ok on Maths/Eng/Sci so don't worry about it! I'm waiting to hear from them again as I said I would think about it over night. Having spoken to DS after he was sure he wanted to resit and would be willing to do it outside of school time. He's already stressed enough about the exams!

MillyMollyMama Wed 26-Mar-14 15:27:57

Just to put your mind at rest, many schools offer Business Studies A level to students who have never taken a Business Studies GCSE. Try and get the school to see past the GCSE debacle because the A level should not be dependent upon this result. Having said that, with such poor continuity of teaching should he really be considering this at A level? Presumably the A level students have also been disrupted. Could he change schools to get better teaching? I would not be happy with the VP writing off his Business Studies GCSE either. He/she does not appear to have the interests of the students at heart.

bigTillyMint Wed 26-Mar-14 15:35:50

Good that they are chatting about it on FB - if the VP doesn't come up with the goods, they should go in mob-handed (preferably with parents too) and demand that they do something about it. It's not that big a deal for the school to organise, FFS, but it is a big deal to the students who want to do well.

LEMmingaround Wed 26-Mar-14 16:19:18

Tell them that you will contact the exam board and ofsted - they may be able to amend the marks to take into account the disruption. The problem is that 10 hours is a lot of teaching hours to find as the hours will already be scheduled so i would think that the marks should be adjusted to take into account that there was insufficient preparation. This is what i would be pushing for rather than redoing the CA as that could impact on the rest of the course iyswim.

RosemaryandThyme Wed 26-Mar-14 17:13:00

Business studies is a pretty irrelevant GCSE anyway in regard to future life choices, he'd still be able to study A level Economics, Accountancy, etc with a decent GCSE maths grade.
Better to focus his time on subjects that count.

nostress Wed 26-Mar-14 17:30:05

Well they are yet to respond to my request to do it outside of lesson time. DS is rapidly changing his mind re A levels!

RosemaryandThyme Wed 26-Mar-14 18:17:54

They seem pretty rubbish at getting back to you within a decent time-frame, to be honest it hints at the school being generally a bit ropey.

MillyMollyMama Wed 26-Mar-14 18:36:37

Rosemary. I think it is a bit unkind to say BS is irrelevant. It is not if you have spent time and trouble studying it. Also many BS students would struggle with Economics and Accounting. Too much maths.

LEMmingaround Wed 26-Mar-14 19:01:03

Well yes, i would certainly be questioning whether he would want to continue to do BS at that school as they seem all over the place - two teachers leaving in one year? screwed up CA's? Sounds like this is an issue for head of department to be addressing, along with the head master/mistress

RosemaryandThyme Wed 26-Mar-14 19:06:43

Er Mil exactly, let the lad concentrate on maths and drop the Business Studies that's been a bit of a dud for him.

RosemaryandThyme Wed 26-Mar-14 19:09:16

And yes, I too have A grade GCSE Business Studies - a totally useless qualification in its own right, without solid maths and english even Btec wont take him on.

steview Wed 26-Mar-14 21:17:19

The regulations on controlled assessment are pretty clear that there is no appeal available to the examboard for consideration to be given to students (whereas in an exam consideration can be given if the school makes a mess of stuff).

We had an incident a couple of years ago when CA first came in - the member of staff stopped the students working at the end of the lesson rather than giving the students a full hour as arranged. It cost the students around 5 minutes.

We contacted the examboard and they said "tough, sort it out" - fortunately this was a small CA piece and the students were able to do another a few weeks later the nature of that particular subject was that students did multiple pieces and the best ones were included in the portfolio anyway. Parents were kept in the loop throughout .

OFSTED may be interested if you felt strongly enough to contact them with a complaint - if they felt it serious enough they could spring an early inspection of the school but, more likely in this case, they would see it as a piece of information to file away and only trigger an early inspection if there a range of other, unrelated, issues coming forward.

I think the school should, at least, offer an out of school hours alternative for students to do a new task - I can understand why they may wish to focus on revision in lessons - they may judge that the gains that will give to exam results are greater than the gains from doing a new CA task.

nostress Wed 26-Mar-14 21:47:37

Well school haven't responded to my request. I'm going to contact the principle tomorrow as I'm getting the impression the vice is ignoring me. ...And ask for an out of hours rerun.

cricketballs Wed 26-Mar-14 22:34:06

For those of you who have dismissed the qualification/subject - just thought I would inform you that I have had many students who have joined Oxbridge/RG unis with not only a business studies qualification at GCSE but also --shock horror--a BTEC Level 2!

Would you really recommend someone not fighting to defend any qualification they have been entered for (and therefore will show on UCAS) to sort out their CA rather than just leave it as it is only Business Studies

3littlefrogs Wed 26-Mar-14 22:45:09

The GCSE courses this year seem to have been badly organised.
My DD has had to redo about 4 controlled assessments at very short notice due to either being taught the wrong content, inadequate preparation, or insufficient time allowed in the timetable resulting in assessments not being completed.

On one particular day the kids didn't get any lunch, and had to stay late after school all in order to do controlled assessments.

I understand that this year, for the first time, they are doing controlled assessments, course work and exams. Nobody seems to know what is going on.

I won't even mention the fiasco of the teacher losing the course work. They did find it eventually, but only after lots of time had been lost/wasted.

I would be writing to the head, the governers and the LEA OP.

creamteas Thu 27-Mar-14 09:01:07

To be honest I think the school are making the right decision over this.

If the CA is only worth 25%, then to take up 10 hours to repeat plus the additional hours of prep will seriously reduce revision time for BS and his other subjects.

If your DS is 1 mark off a C, he should easily be able to get a B overall assuming he does well in the exam. This is a perfectly respectable grade even if he is aiming for A/A* in the others.

HSMMaCM Thu 27-Mar-14 12:44:15

Whether it's an important subject or not, it is upsetting for a child to do badly when it's not their fault.

bigTillyMint Thu 27-Mar-14 13:15:31

Absolutely, HSMMaCM. The school should be attempting to support them get a better grade if that's what the students want (which they obviously do)

nostress Thu 27-Mar-14 15:00:43

Just got back from a meeting at school. They have agreed to him doing a second CA after school and during PE periods and they will provide supervision. smile

bigTillyMint Thu 27-Mar-14 15:06:45

That's really good nostress - well done on sticking to your guns and getting your DS the right outcomecake

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