Category Archives: Uncategorized

Urgent action on Ofsted

Ofsted are desperately trying to rebrand themselves, including the claim that they will rely less on test data and more on intelligent engagement with the school’s curriculum. There are good reasons to be sceptical about this, given the hit-and-run nature … Continue reading

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Progress 8 – a biased and misleading measure

Progress 8 was supposed to be a fair measure of secondary school ‘effectiveness’. New research¬†confirms that it is seriously biased against schools with more disadvantaged pupils. It is vital to expose this injustice because scoring ‘well below average’ on Progress … Continue reading

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Grammar schools helping “ordinary working families”?

On becoming prime minister Theresa May decided to expand grammar schools in order to benefit ‘ordinary working families’. There is no evidence that this is what grammar schools do. This week a former Department of Education official Iain Mansfield tried … Continue reading

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Test scores and poverty 2: parents’ education

The mountains of data which overwhelm schools are next to useless, because the categories they use don’t measure up to reality. A major reason is that the categories ‘Free School Meals’ and ‘disadvantaged’ don’t reflect the serious burden of poverty … Continue reading

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Test scores and poverty – it doesn’t add up

England’s schools are drowning in data. Everybody is obsessed with accountability statistics, from Ofsted down to the school cat. This¬† obsession with data distorts the way we look at pupils and their education. 300 spreadsheet columns running from A to … Continue reading

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International evidence and the phonics test

In a previous blog post, we were able to show that the Phonics Check is not a useful indicator of actual reading. Decoding regularly spelt words is only one component of reading. The rapid increase in scores in the phonics … Continue reading

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Phonics test – Nick Gibb fails again

Schools minister Nick Gibb is crowing, once again, that thousands more children are ‘on track to become fluent readers’. Improved pass rates in the Phonics test show no such thing. “163,000 more 6-year-olds are on track to become fluent readers … Continue reading

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