What will Progress 8 do for the creative subjects?

The changes made by the coalition government to secondary school accountability, such as the EBACC, the Wolf Review and Progress 8, have tended to be met by concern that 'creative' subjects will become marginalised as a result of schools placing greater emphasis on 'academic' subjects. In recent weeks, for example, the TES questioned whether creative [...]

By | March 26th, 2015|Exams and assessment|

Are schools still entering pupils in qualifications unrecognised by Performance Tables?

The Wolf Review of 2011 heralded major changes to the Key Stage 4 Performance Tables this year. Much of the media coverage in the wake of their publication tended to focus on a fall in the headline percentage of pupils achieving 5 or more A*-C grades (or equivalents) including English and mathematics and a rise [...]

By | March 18th, 2015|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

What happened at the Education Datalab launch?

We’ve been so busy in the past week that the Education Datalab launch already feels like a long time ago. For those who missed the launch of our report, on "Seven things you might not know about our schools", at the immersive Microsoft Showcase Classroom, here’s a short recap of the highlights. FFT Managing Director, [...]

By | March 14th, 2015|News|

Pupil premium isn’t working… or is it?

When national results at Key Stage 4 were published last November phrases like "the gap between rich and poor widens" typified headlines in the national press. This was because the gap between the attainment of disadvantaged (often called Pupil Premium) pupils and others in the headline measure of 5A*-C including English and maths had increased [...]

By | March 13th, 2015|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|

How hard should we work to get physics and maths graduates into the classroom?

Last week we published a report with data that suggests non-physics graduates can teach physics to GCSE standard just as well as physics graduates. Does mean that the Government’s battery of programmes to get physics and maths specialists into teaching is unnecessary? Probably not, for two reasons: 1. We appear to be hurtling into a [...]

By | March 12th, 2015|Teacher careers|

Getting from B to A (or G to F)

In recent days there has been some discussion about the way grades in current GCSEs will be scored alongside reformed GCSEs when calculating Progress 8 in 2017 and 2018. In 2016, when Progress 8 will be fully introduced into Performance Tables, GCSE grades A*-G will be converted into points on the 1-8 scale. By 2019, [...]

By | March 11th, 2015|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

Free schools [improve/lower] standards at nearby schools (delete as appropriate to suit ideological position)

Today Policy Exchange have published a lengthy report ‘A Rising Tide’ claiming competitive benefits of free schools. The premise is that neighbouring schools have improved their results due to the threat of loss of pupils to a new free school. It is certainly possible that this might have happened. Any headteacher at an undersubscribed school [...]

By | March 9th, 2015|School accountability|

The return of the London effect

A couple of weekends ago I attended the London Festival of Education. The “London Effect” in secondary schools, a topic on which I have blogged previously, was much discussed. One of the important contributions to the debate, cited by a number of presenters at the festival, was made last year by Simon Burgess from Bristol [...]

By | March 8th, 2015|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|

Women dominate the teaching profession, but men are winning the pay game

It has been well reported that women fall behind men in their rates of promotion to school senior leadership positions. The well-versed reasons for this are similar to other professions, with women taking more time than men out of the labour market when they become parents, many deliberately choosing to take lower responsibility roles and [...]

By | March 5th, 2015|Teacher careers|