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System Change

This category contains 49 posts

Ofsted Reliability Trials. Some suggestions.

It’s very welcome news that Amanda Spielman is going to support an Ofsted ‘research push’ as reported here in Schools Week.  The publication of results of an initial trial is a step in the right direction. In my ‘Gimme some truth‘ blog at the end of 2014,  I complained about the lack of any validity … Continue reading

The Michaela Way

Last week,  I joined the growing number of people who have visited Michaela Community School to see it action.   I’ve read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers and numerous blogs and articles about the school from its teachers and visitors – so it was great to see what it is really like to put … Continue reading

More issues with Progress 8.

In this post I’m going to set out a few of the issues I see with the use of Progress 8 data, especially as one of the indicators of school effectiveness in inspections and in general school-to-school comparison and evaluation. For further reading on Progress 8, you want also wish to read the following: My … Continue reading

Grammar Schools: Schools that don’t work for everyone.

Having previously been the Head of KEGS, a super-selective grammar school in Chelmsford, for six years, I’ve been asked by lots of people to comment on the latest proposals to extend selection.  Here are my thoughts: Very simply, it’s a bad idea.  By definition, grammar schools do not work for everyone.  The Green Paper title … Continue reading

Free School on our doorstep. October Update.

This post is a follow up to my previous post about the new Free School opening up the road from Highbury Grove. This week I had a meeting with the CEO of the Meller Educational Trust along with other key stakeholders.   Here are the main points regarding their plans for the free school in Ladbroke … Continue reading

Dissecting Progress 8. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Now that Progress 8 has been born and looks like it’s here to stay, there’s no use wallowing for too long in outrage at the data-garbage bonkersness of it all.  We might all agree that averaging out every child’s achievements across the school via a super-convoluted and arbitrary algorithm to generate a single number with … Continue reading

Exam grading is inherently flawed; but there’s no conspiracy.

    To put this post in context, previously I have written various other posts about the nature of exam grading, the way OfQual operates, the bell-curve of norm referencing and its role in setting standards, the degree of error that is inherent in any assessment and grading process.  Here is a selection: https://headguruteacher.com/2013/08/31/ofqual-insights-more-thoughts-on-exams/ https://headguruteacher.com/2014/05/27/the-assessment-uncertainty-principle/Continue reading

A Free School on our doorstep? I have some questions….

  Just before the end of the summer term, I was tipped off that an architect’s website was showing the development pictured above.  They suggested it was to include a 750 place secondary, a 250 place sixth form and residential units.  I contacted the Local Authority officers who knew nothing about it.  Subsequently, this development … Continue reading

More Grammars? Bad idea. But selection has many guises…

So, the end of a ban on new grammar schools is under serious consideration. Crucially, this is significantly different to thinking of a full scale ‘return of grammar schools’ or introducing any more county-wide selection systems.  Nevertheless, if the question is ‘should we have more grammar schools?’ the short answer has to be a firm NO – in … Continue reading

Dear Justine. Some thoughts…

Dear Justine Congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of State.  I’m quietly optimistic and looking forward to seeing how education policy develops under your leadership.  You’ve got a genuine opportunity to create a significant legacy; without question, there is plenty to do! I wrote to Nicky Morgan from this blog twice last year – you … Continue reading

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