Category Archives: Accountability

Phonics fanatics: politicians who think they know best

This post concludes our series on phonics by asking what has been gained by politicians imposing their will on teachers. It draws on research by Professor Dominic Wyse (UCL IoE) among others, as well as official data.  The issue is … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baby Pinpin makes her mark

We publish an extract of William Nicholson’s wonderful novel for young readers ‘The Wind Singer’ to celebrate parents’ protests against testing. It begins on the morning of Pinpin Hath’s first test. She is two years old, and must be accompanied … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A great victory – let’s make it the first of many

We have just learnt that the government has abandoned baseline testing for 4 year olds. This was to have served as the starting line for “holding primary schools to account”. The plan was a mess from the start, and showed … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

They are children not robots: baseline research

Earlier blog posts on baseline assessment have focused heavily on the damage done by false predictions of children’s potential. This post looks at another consequence – how testing is changing children, education and teachers. *   *   * In a book … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Robin Alexander on Ofsted’s new boss

Michael Wilshaw too progressive? Whatever next! A few days ago news appeared that the Chief Inspector is so out of favour with the Government that they are not renewing his contract. This is not entirely surprising given his opposition to more grammar schools, … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Governance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Bullying by numbers – its roots in neoliberalism

by Terry Wrigley, Visiting Professor, Northumbria University There is relentless pressure to raise standards – or rather scores – and it’s driving thousands of teachers to quit. The insatiable demands amount to bullying – bullying by numbers, reinforced by a … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, GERM | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The delusions of baseline testing

This post updates our earlier analysis of baseline testing, following a successful Freedom of Information request. It is clear that baseline tests are likely to make correct predictions of a child’s later achievement in about 4 cases out of every 10. … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A few anomalies? No, baseline is flawed from start to finish

In the pilot year of baseline assessment, the most popular provider Early Excellence has already had to apologise to its 12,000 schools for faulty scores resulting from “a few anomalies” (see Schools Week). Even this apology is economical with the … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Blame poverty, not schools part 1

This is the first of a series of reports summarising key research, and based largely on official statistics.  English schools are ‘held to account’ by a draconian system of bullying by numbers, reinforced by Ofsted. The constant targeting of less ‘effective’ … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Social Justice | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Imagine a country where education ministers know truth from fiction

Nicky Morgan’s conference speech yesterday played clumsily on claims of low standards before the Conservatives took over in 2010. Her words: “I want you to imagine a country where 1 in 3 young people left primary school unable to read, … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability | Tagged , , | Leave a comment