rabbie burns wrote:
The fact that the head at CHB felt the need to put an article on there a month or so back criticising league tables says a lot about the school, and not in a good way.
Hi rabbie burns,
I am really not trying to defend CHB, but personally, I have rather been impressed by the move of the head at this school to take the time to write a letter to parents about league tables and to post it on the school website. I perceive it as a sincere desire to ‘throw light on’ the ‘labyrinth’ of what the education system has unfortunately become in England.
I do feel that there are millions of things that people working in schools do understand but that parents without a foot in the educational system do not. I am sure that I am not alone feeling in such a predicament!
For example, last week, I had an email communication with my son’s RS teacher just to be able to understand a bit more about a new grading system at his school. Here is part of her very clear answer, with some annotation in blue of my reactions when reading her mail:
As you may know, national curriculum levels have been abolished (oh, I didn’t know that! shock!)
. RS is not part of the national curriculum, but part of the statutory curriculum (gosh, what is the statutory curriculum? I have never heard about that one!)
; previously it used an 8 level assessment scale (ah! ! I know this scale!)
. These levels have also been abolished (why do the things we know and understand always get abolished! )
. Schools are now at liberty to manage their own assessment policy, and departments will do this differently (not a very good system if parents have children in different schools! And if even departments do it differently inside a same school, what a joy!)
. The department is therefore working on its own system of assessment; this year we are trialling lettered grading. An A2 this year would be the equivalent of an 8b in the previous 8 level scale used for RS. (I can understand the 8 level assessment scale. Why on earth are all the things working well usually abolished by the ministry of education? )
As for criticising the league tables, Mr M. Garrod is not at all the only one to express his views, as these samples can show you:http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/nor ... er-8542013http://www.nottinghampost.com/Head-teac ... story.htmlhttp://www.breathingbuildings.com/news/ ... eadteacher
Here is an excerpt of the page which is opened by the last link:The official rankings showed that schools such as Eton College, City of London, Marlborough, Harrow and Westminster were given a 'zero' rating for their failure to get sufficient numbers of people to gain the official benchmark of five A* to C grades.
This is partly because at some independent schools, pupils have been studying versions of qualifications, such as International GCSEs, which have ceased to be recognised in the tables
As for Mr J. Claughton (the Chief Master at KES), here is his opinion of the GCSE result tables in 2014:http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/lo ... dy-6645677
So I am indeed very grateful
that Mr M. Garrod took the time to explain to parents the ‘mysteries’ hidden behind ‘vagarities’ of the league tables!
By the way, FW is a lovely school. It really impressed me greatly when I visited it a few years ago. Something that I really liked about it is that there are only 26 (or 24?) pupils per class as soon as year 7. I have never seen this in the other grammar schools I have visited so far.