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 Post subject: Head Teachers' Rankings
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
I hope Bucks contributors will forgive an outsider raising a general query about head teachers' rankings, particularly at a time when this is a personal issue for so many hoping to appeal.

If I have understood it correctly Bucks head teachers are expected to rank their year 6 students in order of their suitability for Grammar School and this ranking encompasses both ability and attitude.

I am wondering how much weight is given to these rankings and whether any account is taken of variations from year to year in the ability of a cohort and what happens if a child is at a very small school where to be 2nd, for example, may be much harder to interpret than being 2nd in a large school.

I have 4 children who have attended a largish primary school with some 60-70 children in the year group. My oldest was in a year whose average attainment level was low. My second is in year 6 now in a very bright year group, quite a number of whom boast more than one level 5 in their year 5 QCA tests, including one with 3 lots of 5a already. On pure ability I reckon that number 2 in the the first cohort could be as low as number 8 to 10 in the second cohort. How do Bucks resolve issues like these?

A Curious Onlooker!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:31 pm
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I thought this myself! I would have thought that the Bucks appeal panels are familiar with schools whose children sit the 11+. If they 'know' a headteacher is generous with his praise of lots of children, it's my impression that this praise becomes diluted. If they know this much about headteachers, surely then they know which schools have a large number of children, catchment areas etc. As for individual schools having a 'strong' year six - I guess that cannot be taken into consideration. How would an appeal panel know that? Hmm, I'm answering your question with the same questions! Obviously need to have a lie down!

JuliaB


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 Post subject: Head teacher's ranking
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:08 pm 
Sorry to say that some Appeal panels cannot cope with such data. Our son was in a class of 30 with 21 achieving 121+, therefore being in the top 50% was good!

It might help to know approx 25% of children in Bucks get 3 level 5s - so predictions of high level 5s from a Head in a high achieving school should mean Grammar School - again our Appeal panel did not believe this - the LA had given me the data and their officer backed me!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Appeal panels get to see the actual result next to all the rankings. It should be obvious if bright children have been ranked low because it's a very high ability group. It should be equally obvious if someone is ranked high in a poor performing school.

My experience was that panels always focused not so much on the rankings as on the accuracy of the predicted scores. Heads whose predictions were generally accurate could be trusted!

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi All

The rankings system is a slightly bizarre process, and was abandoned for some years, but reintroduced last year (2005). The Heads hate it, because it is perfectly obvious that a few top performing children are almost certain to pass, and that the bottom few are almost certain to fail, but how to rank the multitude in between?

They use all sorts of indicators - exam results, predicted SATs, VR test results - to produce the rankings. The list then shows the children in order of suitability for grammar school, based on academic ability and attitude to work. Highest rank is 1, lowest rank is 3. A child ranked 1:1 should be expected to pass the 11+ easily, a child ranked 3:3 should not pass, although I have known it happen.

The Appeal Panels will then look at the results against the rankings. If the Head has accurately predicted the majority, then any child whose failure stands out will be in a better position at appeal.

All it really provides the appeal panel with is a rough predictor of the ability of that year's cohort from the school.

A veritable maze! And, as Guest55 points out, not foolproof.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:58 pm 
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There has been an attempt to tighten up on the rankings/predictions this year. See section 13 of the instructions to heads:
www.buckscc.gov.uk/schools/documents/ad ... 1_plus.pdf

With regard to SATs, they do not correlate exactly with VR because they measure something different. Appeal panels are aware that some children with level 5s finish up in upper schools, and some children with level 4s finish up in grammar schools.

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
Many thanks to all of you who have taken the trouble to reply. I guess the powers that be in Bucks must feel the system has some validity or they would not continue with it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8206
Location: Buckinghamshire
Alex

I am not convinced of that! Why was it discontinued for several years?

Sally-Anne

P.S. Etienne thank you for the update - it will be very helpful for my younger one in due course, although the rules will probably have changed by then!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Dear Sally-Anne

Glad to have been of help!

If I recall correctly, the rankings were abolished for just one year, and then reintroduced largely, I believe, at the request of appeal panels who found the information so useful!

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
Dear Etienne

You beat me to it, yes it only went away for a short while.

Patricia


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