The New Way to Grade Schools

By |9 November 2021|Categories: Assessment|Tags: , |

  I've invented a new way to grade schools. It goes like this: At end of the scale you've got '1'. Next to that is 'C'. After that is 'Square' and finally 'Blue'. So the new grading goes: 1, C, Square, Blue. It's good isn't it?! No! I hear you mutter. No it's not. Really? Why not? What could be simpler? Four simple grades to communicate the results of an inspection; to let everyone know how a school is doing. A shorthand to judgement and information to help parents choose where to live. Oh. They're not from the same category [...]

Be Careful What You Measure

By |5 March 2020|Categories: Assessment|Tags: , , , , , , |

Not my legs You're making the biggest mistake possible with this, Mike. So says James, my personal trainer, and he should know: I've trusted him with my physical fitness and injury recovery programmes since 2014. Inspired (or egged on) by younger family members, I've decided to be able to row 2000m in less than 8 minutes. They can do it in 6 but they've a 30 year advantage on me and have much longer legs. James thinks my approach to the challenge is wrong and he's right. I've been chipping away at my 2k time over the the last few [...]

A Better Accountability for Schools

By |13 February 2020|Categories: Assessment|Tags: , |

The Window Wednesday. 12:01pm. A collective sigh of relief from headteachers across the land. Ofsted won't be coming this week. If you're currently in 'the window' you'll know all about this weekly crescendo and crash. It's a bit like a very slow, ominous wave, creeping up the shore (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday), breaking all over you (Wednesday) - cold and full of seaweed - then sliding back down the beach (rest of Wednesday-Sunday), ready for another go. Ridiculous. Pointless. Inefficient. Here's a proposal for a better system for the national accountability of schools. It has three parts: An MOT Jury Service [...]

New Ofsted in 10 Bullet Points

By |1 April 2019|Categories: Assessment|Tags: , , , |

Do you remember at school when you were getting on with group work and the teacher was roaming around the classroom, having a look, giving a nudge here and there? (we call it assessment in the moment now). And do you remember that when she came within earshot of your table, you and your friends would seamlessly switch your conversation on to what it was supposed to be about. It was a psychic, unspoken and effortlessly coordinated move between you all which sadly involved raising your voices a little too much; speaking a bit too clearly (so she could hear [...]

Bake Offsted

By |6 September 2018|Categories: Assessment|Tags: , , |

My grown up children made this. In fact they made twenty of them. They are wagon wheel biscuits inspired by last week's Great British Bake Off. They let me eat one and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And not just because of its taste and texture. My wagon wheel makes a point about assessment and inspection. Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith would slate this biscuit (and fair dues my 19 and 22 year old would slate them back). This biscuit would not stop any shows or elevate any star bakers. It would fail. It would bomb. It would not meet the [...]

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