Supporting Teachers through the 2020 Grading Changes

Following the announcement of the cancellation of the summer exam series on 18th March due to COVID-19, the DfE and Awarding bodies have started to reveal the overarching approach to awarding grades on 20th March - see DfE Press release, March 20th. This has provided a few certainties for all people involved in education to start thinking about how this might affect them and the actions they can take.

Pupil Progress is a company that works across all exam boards and qualification types and provides support to schools at subject and whole school level to ensure accurate grade predictions. We feel we are in a really good position to provide support to schools. 

Published 23/03/2020
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COVID-19: Preparing for Internal Verification of Teacher Predictions

The outline of the grade awarding process for 2020 released 20th March by the DfE has revealed some information about the external validation process. The significant role of teacher predictions will bring tough emotional and logistical challenges as well as the potential for friction between teachers, subject leaders and senior leaders. 

A very important part of the submission of teacher predicted grades will be internal verification and standardisation. No-one will want to submit grades that are at risk of being pulled down because of inconsistency, or because of unrealistic or unjustifiable grade predictions. 

Once centres have internally verified and submitted the subject grade predictions for their students to the exam board there will be a process to calculate the final grades awarded to students. Using the limited detail about this process so far and despite the unprecedented situation, we do have examples of current practice by JCQ, Ofqual and the exam boards and enough information that points us in a likely direction. This can be used to help us to prepare rigorous internal verification processes.

Published 23/03/2020
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COVID-19: Preparing for Teacher Predictions

Following the announcement of the cancellation of the summer exam series on 18th March, the DfE and Awarding bodies have started to reveal the overarching approach to awarding grades on 20th March. This has provided a few certainties for all people involved in education to start thinking about how this might affect them and the actions they can take. The significant role of teacher predictions will bring tough emotional and logistical challenges as well as potential friction between teachers, subject leaders and senior leaders. 

The internal assessment data will be fundamental to this process and so making sure this is in good order will support the whole process of teacher predictions and help reduce stress levels of staff. Here are some considerations to support you with early preparations around your current data to provide clarity, consistency and confidence in teacher grade predictions.

Published 22/03/2020
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Missing Out on Moderation?

At last, your marking has been done! You may have used up valuable time in the holiday or weekend to break the back of it or had some early morning rises, but it’s done. The last thing you are likely to want to do now is to pass it to another teacher to get their critique of your marking. But that could be a huge opportunity missed.

Published 22/02/2020
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The Head of Department's Guide to Data in Schools

As Head of Department you’re already juggling a team of teachers, several classes of students and pressure from above – getting to grips with your data might feel like a time-intensive, stressful, tedious task on an endless to-do list. We’ve been there. 

Published 28/10/2019
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5 things your tracker MUST do to free you from manual data processing

In this blog post about the advantages of using a tracker over a spreadsheet, I discussed the stress and anxiety I experienced as a teacher when I didn’t have a tracking system that allowed me to easily see the big picture, to drill down into the details, and to think and plan strategically to improve student outcomes. I know there are still teachers in the same place as I was, living in fear of the unknown when it comes to the summer exam series and how their students are performing in relation to school targets.

Published 20/09/2019
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I used to use a spreadsheet, now I use a tracker… why?

Whether we like it or not, we’ve moved to a new age in teaching where accountability has cranked up a notch... or seven! Teacher stress and anxiety related to attainment targets is well-documented and keenly felt across the country. Believe me, I’ve been there: Head Teacher in front of me, Vice Principal to my right, Chair of Governors to my left, Reservoir Dogs soundtrack playing in my head, being subtly reminded that I’m currently only on a one year contract. Then, leaving the meeting to have four million things running through my brain as to how we can’t have the same thing happen again with the current Year 11 cohort, and then the whole cycle of stress beginning just two days into the new school term.

Published 20/09/2019
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What do we actually mean by 'Meaningful Data' in schools?

The new Ofsted framework has again sparked debate and heated discussion, but on the whole teachers are considering it to be a step in the right direction. It focuses on delivering a meaningful curriculum and encourages the use of meaningful data when tracking and monitoring progress.

Published 20/09/2019
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What are Ofsted saying about data... and what should you do about it?

The finalised version of the new Ofsted Framework has now been published, which will govern all school visits from September.

The focus on the way internal data is used in schools has dramatically changed. The intentions behind the changes show that Ofsted has taken onboard the advice from Workload Advisory Group Report, and are now asking more powerful questions “about whether schools’ attainment data collections are proportionate, represent an efficient use of school resources, and are sustainable for staff.”

Published 11/09/2019
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Forget ‘meaningful data’: think about your teachers and students

One of the drivers that led me to leave the teaching profession and start Pupil Progress was that I could see the impact an effective tracking and monitoring system would have on my students’ outcomes and my ability to support teachers in my team and do my job as a Head of Faculty.

Published 11/09/2019
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