Facing the Challenges of Ranking your Students

Information about the methodology for awarding grades for students is gradually being released before the official guidance comes out from exam boards. A clearer picture is emerging that the grades will be informed by your current data (see Preparing for Teacher Predictions), and it will involve an element of student ranking within your subject (ASCL, March 31st). The grades submitted will be moderated against prior KS2 data, prior school attainment data and national distributions by the exam boards. If adjustments need to be made to the distribution of grades, then the rankings will provide a fair basis on which students will move up or down a grade. 

The process of ranking students brings further challenges, especially to larger departments. This more refined approach could also increase the effect of unconscious bias. So what should be taken into consideration at a subject level to ensure a fair and justifiable approach?

Published 02/04/2020
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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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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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Why We Need To Think Long-Term About Student Engagement

The data looks good, the future doesn’t

While writing this blog for Pupil Progress on behaviour management strategies, I started to reflect on student behaviour more generally.

Published 10/07/2019
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Becoming a Brilliant Head of Department: Advice from Middle-Managers

Joining the ranks as a head of your department is an exciting step in your teaching career. You feel like you can really make a difference at your school, and you’re proud to be acknowledged for your achievements as a teacher. At the same time, this is the beginning of the next stage of the journey in your personal development. How do you establish your new leadership role with conviction?

Published 11/03/2019
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Reducing School Workload: What Data is Necessary for Teachers?

There’s no denying that it’s a difficult time for everyone involved in education right now, and that schools are under extreme pressure to produce results. We all know this, we all feel it. Our teachers and school leaders are living and breathing this pressure every day.

Published 06/11/2018
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Leadership in Teaching: Why Being Yourself is Important

I have found myself in a strange situation with regard my career, one in which I have an overwhelming passion for education but now sit outside of the situation. Although now running Pupil Progress, an educational resource company, I am no longer on the front line, teaching, leading, helping pupils and my team develop.

Published 31/08/2017
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