Keeping to the protocol of issuing significant guidance just as the holidays begin, a new directive^ was dropped this morning. In order to support schools with the task of awarding grades this summer, Secretary of State, Gavin WillYamSon has introduced fresh guidance. “He’s done his best, poor lamb” said a source.
Here’s a brief summary:
Part 1: Portfolio-Harmonised Assessed Grade:
Teachers should do their best to come up with some kind of grade with the following requirements. Grades should be:
- based on at least something students have learned or done by themselves
- plausible enough to appear valid at first glance
- accurate, give or take, within a reasonable margin or error
- broadly linked to the curriculum covered as far as anyone can tell.
- rigorous, robust and reliable.
Above all, grades should be the school’s entire responsibility and not that of any official body. Don’t come running to us with your appeals or questions.
Part 2. Educationally Normalised Dispositional Score:
Influenced by the seminal work on Character by Nickybell Curve-Morgan, a second component has been introduced. Recognising that exams and knowledge are not the be-all and end-all, teachers should support students to generate a score from the newly issued Disposition Assessment Foundation Toolkit which will provide employers and anyone who cares a more rounded view of their capabilities and ‘essence’ as people. The DAFT comprises questions students can answer for themselves when they get a moment. Sample questions include:
- on a scale of 1-5 are you a decent person?
- on a scale of 100-0 are you coping ok?
- how many imaginary ways could you use a paperclip?
- on a scale of Red to Green, how curious are you?
- in a group, do you tend to do all the work or let the others do all the work?
Combining the Scores.
The overall evaluation of each student will be represented by aggregating the two scores with an arbitrary, yet-to-be-decided weighting and will be reported to candidates and universities as PHAG-ENDS*.
Mr WillYamSon wanted to wish everyone the best of luck, stressing that he himself would be on holiday and/or returning to his former role as a national security liability so, what ever happens, it’s nothing to do with him, it’s all on you.
Helpfully, the DFE has prepared an all-purpose press statement in advance that can be used in case of circumstances where the PHAG-ENDS are too high or too low:
“We understand the concerns of parents and students who have worked very hard but have been let down. Sadly, despite extensive guidance and support from the government, the grade inflation/drop in grades** just proves that teachers cannot be trusted to uphold standards. The Prime Minister is delighted that 1 in 10 students has achieved a record-equalling top-10% PHAG-ENDS rating but remains deeply concerned that up to a half of all pupils have performed below average, with up to one-fifth languishing in the bottom 20%. “.
Mr Grovel was reported as saying: “Yes, yes, soft bigTory, erm bigotry, yes, yes, no, no, you see, yes yes”
Mrs Curve-Morgan was reported as saying “Erm, yah, yah.. erm, character, erm, yes, yah, yah”.
*The cardboard carton on which this policy was written is not yet recyclable.
**delete as appropriate
^GONAD #42 dropped 1-4-21