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The farce of GCSE reforms continues - National Reference Tests

(17 Posts)
noblegiraffe Fri 19-Aug-16 16:57:04

So after deciding mid-course that they aren't actually sure how to set the number of students achieving a grade 8 and 9, there are now signs that the National Reference Test, which was to be used in future years to set grade boundaries may end up being scrapped.

YokoUhOh Fri 19-Aug-16 17:01:18

Christ. I'm currently on (second) mat leave but am thinking of giving up my HoD position (small dept) when I go back as I can't face all the data/scrutiny and just want to teach. I have no idea how I'm going to predict GCSE grades when I go back.

teachersaspirations Mon 29-Aug-16 17:47:05

I noticed that there was an admission of grade inflation
at long last!
maybe they should just stop grade inflation rather trying to reverse it

noblegiraffe Mon 29-Aug-16 17:57:48

They can't simultaneous demand improved performance from schools and artificially supress the grade boundaries, that's just not fair.

teachersaspirations Mon 29-Aug-16 18:16:35

the goal is to achieve improved performance without grade inflation
I don't know the best way for that to be done

speaking as an independent neither the government nor the teachers seem to know how to do that

each blame the other and that has been the case for as long as I can remember

noblegiraffe Mon 29-Aug-16 18:19:58

But improved performance is measured by improved exam performance.

Edexcel were forced by Ofqual to increase the C grade boundary this year. Exam performance is decided by politics, not by actual exam performance. Children are only allowed to do as well as they were predicted to do 5 years ago.

teachersaspirations Mon 29-Aug-16 19:36:53

if we want to see improvement
then we have to measure
how to improve without grade inflation is what we need

parents want an apolitical solution (apolitical government and apolitical teachers)

noblegiraffe Mon 29-Aug-16 19:39:45

So you want grade deflation? Worse grades for better knowledge?

EllyMayClampett Mon 29-Aug-16 20:16:43

Perhaps we need a measure against a baseline in time and a measure of where a particular student falls within their cohort?

noblegiraffe Mon 29-Aug-16 21:05:23

What do you mean, Elly? We currently have KS2 results as a baseline, and exam results showing where they fall in the cohort?

Thegiantofillinois Mon 29-Aug-16 21:09:02

We need accurate ks2 data for a start. Oh, you got a level 5 in primary school and have an aspirational target of A*? Then why can't you use punctuation or write coherently now you're here?

Effic Mon 29-Aug-16 21:41:53

It's fucking simple from where I stand - you can't have 100% of children all passing bloody 5 x GCSEs at grade C or above! Once we accept that and accept that some children have different skills and talents that need to be nurtured and VALUED then the whole exam fiasco goes on.
Same cycle about every 10 years. Exam results peak and flat line but aren't as good as Finland/Sweden or more lately Singapore/China or wherever else in the world the govt decide to compare with. Some business group or other are trotted out by our delightful teacher bashing media to tell us all how appalling the levels of literacy/numeracy are in school leavers and everyone over the age of 35 agrees ("wasn't like this in my day") No one ever seems to comment how one of the smallest countries in the world continues to have the 3/4/5th largest economy in the entire world despite producing such apparent half-wits - this is never explained!
So a new Govt will bring in new exam to "raise standards". These are written by which every lackeys are currently in favour, bought in too quickly, with no training for teachers and loaded with errors etc so there is a crash in standards. Govt use this as "proof" that teachers are rubbish, lazy etc. Everyone agrees that "it's not like it was in their day" and the teachers are to blame. In the following years, teachers get to grips with the new exam and curriculum so more children pass when teachers know what they are supposed to be doing - they'll be more successful at getting children who can to pass. The govt however claim sole credit for raising standards through their (shite) policy. About 5 years in, results flat line because if an exam is worth the paper it's printed on, then really about 65% of children passing is about right isn't it? I mean there are about 20% of children on the SEN register - are teachers and parents making that figure up?? Sure some children are on it for EBD needs and so, with the right support, can pass but most are on for Learning difficulties and they aren't going to pass a maths GSCE unlss you lower the pass mark. They can however be awesome care assistants, plumbers, electricians, beauticians etc but we don't give a shit about that because we only care about gcse's and sending every child to university to take increasingly worthless degrees. Successive Govts demand more children pass so grade inflation occurs until the new govt decrees that teachers are all lazy, useless bastards and we don't compare to wherever etc etc and we begin again and introduce a "new curriculum" and " tougher exam" to "raise standards" AGAIN.
And off we go again!! During these time, the teaching profession leaves in droves but no one gives a fuck because we get 13 weeks holiday so we are "lucky" and have no idea about "real work"

teachersaspirations Mon 29-Aug-16 22:50:55

as a parent (not a teacher or a government spokesman)
I wonder why the local school has approx 65% that get a C or above in maths
so that is over 1/3 of the kids get less than a C in maths (with C being approx 50%)
it is in a reasonably well offish area with no obvious socio-economic issues
if we consider non SEN (only to simplify the discussion)
is that good enough for our kids?
or is it the the cohort of kids
or is it the cohort of parents
or is it the cohort of teachers

honeysucklejasmine Mon 29-Aug-16 22:56:41

You can't ask that question then say "let's consider non SEN" as unfortunately they probably make up a decent amount of that 1/3. Unless I have misunderstood you? It's the Gove Paradox. How can everyone be above average? Someone has to get less than a C or a C is worthless.

OP it's a complete shit show. Also on mat leave from teaching and haven't got a clue what's going on. Research required, but it sounds like no-one else knows anyway!

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 29-Aug-16 23:00:38


You can't only consider "non SEN" and not give the percentage for children without SEN that got a C or above.

In the same way that no knowing the % SEN, FSM etc. when asking why only 65%.

You would have to look at the context in its entirety or not bother.

noblegiraffe Mon 29-Aug-16 23:02:55

teacher You can dig down deeper into that headline figure on this website:

So you can look at the school, how many kids are making expected progress in maths. Then you can look at performance by prior attainment at KS2 - if a school has a high proportion of high attainers, then it is easier for them to make the expected progress.

Also under the secondary tab under the bar charts it says 'compare this school with similar schools' and you can see how your school ranks against other schools with a similar intake for KS2 results (it also highlights those with a similar FSM profile).

If you look at the absence and pupil population tab you can see whether the school has more SEN or FSM pupils than average.

teachersaspirations Mon 29-Aug-16 23:11:27

ok thanks for the extra info on SEN & FSM
i will go away and have a look

I think I give up
good night

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