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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:28 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:06 pm
Posts: 237
From DD school magazine

“The Joys of Statistics!‖ you might expect me, as a Maths teacher, to exclaim. Averages, standard deviations and T-tests should allow us all to see deeper truths about the world and the human condition. Sadly my enthusiasm will again this year be dampened by the obfuscation – some would say deliberate deception – of the School League Tables. It‘s not that our students haven‘t done well in them; The Times had us * in the country at A level. The frustration is that picking another newspaper on a different day may tell a different story. Both the Telegraph and the BBC last year used the previous government‘s OFSTED-points system whereby a candidate with grades BCDE will score more points than one with ABB. I understand why a government might peddle this line – it‘s easier and cheaper to cram in a few more qualifications and do badly in them than it is to do a sensible number of exams really well. Certainly the vision of universities is not being dimmed by this smoke and mirrors and the UCAS system rightly rates our student with ABB much higher than her lots-of-low-grades‘ friend down the road.

Fortunately, we need not take much notice of these spurious measures; sadly some of our colleagues in maintained schools are persuaded to skew their curriculum to ensure that OFSTED-points remain high. ICT courses that are worth‘ 4 GCSEs and students being entered for General Studies exams for which they have had little or no preparation are just some examples. Universities and employers are not impressed and, as a colleague from a school not too far from here confided in me, the students don‘t think much of it either. I am delighted that we are running courses including Drama, Philosophy, the Environment, Creative writing, Politics, Engineering, Community Science, Enterprise and Horse-riding this year, not one of which is examined and for which the school will earn not one single OFSTED-point.

At my DD school pupils take a maximum of 10 GCSEs (and a minimum of 9). All of these must be real ones and must include Maths, English, Science (generally all 3 but at least 2), at least 1 Modern Language

At my DD school pupils generally take 3 A Levels but definitely no more than 4.

Last edited by guest43 on Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
Posts: 2083
Location: Maidstone
The Guardian and the BBC's results are the most screwed, I guess they have a hidden agenda. It makes me laugh to see my local grammar as the top school in England in the GCSE table on BBC. They are very misleading tables indeed. The Sunday Times, Telegraph and DailyMail ones are much better based on A*/A so it clearly shows even the media has some form of hidden agenda when they publish league tables.

Tomorrow is when they are publishing the report showing how the UK education has plummeted on the international scene. There is something wrong when year on year schools are declairing the "best results ever".

While league tables are a start, they are so many things they dont show like the subjects the children are taking. Some school take more rigorous subjects while others take mickey mouse ones and this will never be shown in the league tables. Some comps in particular have been so driven in getting a C in Maths and English at the cost of giving the children a decent education. Some Heads have become really crafty and creative just to move up league tables when the children are getting crapola education.

In addition education is becoming a very one sided coin where its just the number of A/A* that matters, whilst these should rightly matter there are some life skills like tenacity that children arent getting. Our children are growing up to be very fragile and when one bad thing happens they give up and think life has treated them badly. I still give Gove benefit of doubt on what he does but one of his worst policy for me was trying to take sports aways from schools. It just shows what is being valued, yet there are many life skills transferable from playing competetive sport.

Impossible is Nothing.

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