Thursday, June 18th This is another quick posting to highlight some research, which was covered quite extensively in the press yesterday, about the dangers of teaching to the exam at A-level. The research was carried out by the think tank Reform, about which I have some reservations, but I highlight it here since it chimes very closely with what other studies have shown in recent years. The main point of this and other studies is that very tight definition of what is going to be in the mark schemes for A-levels, and the pressures on teachers (and pupils) to improve results on those exams, combine to createRead More →

Monday, June 15th. Well, just a quick posting at the moment to acknowledge the momentous news, from yesterday’s Andrew Marr show, that a Conservative government would scrap Sats. In its place, pupils would sit tests straight after transferring to secondary school. These would be marked by teachers, subject to external moderation, with the results then used to form league tables ranking each pupil’s primary school. There are many ways of looking at this proposal. Teachers’ unions appear to be split on it, and there will doubtless be unintended consequences, which need, of course, to be taken seriously. But I believe the most fundamental shift behindRead More →