We explore the potential of innovative classroom assessment methods, as well as the impact of major exam reforms

How many language teachers would we need to reach the Conservatives’ 75% EBacc target?

The Conservatives’ manifesto has revised the party’s commitment to require all students to study the English Baccalaureate subjects at Key Stage 4. It now has a more modest proposal that 75% of students should study the EBacc by the end of the next parliament [PDF]. To be considered to have entered the EBacc a child [...]

Young people are taking fewer A-Levels as qualification reforms kick in and per-student spending falls

Post-16 education is in a period of flux, with major qualification reforms and a drop in per-student spending. Reformed A-Levels began to be introduced from September 2015, with a concurrent decoupling of AS-Levels. And, as the IFS have reported [PDF], spending per student in school sixth forms and further education has been falling since 2010/11. [...]

By | May 18th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision|

What difference does a year make? Part 3

This is part three in a series of posts exploring trends in attainment over time by month of birth. Other posts in the series can be found here. The first two blogposts in this series showed that pupils’ attainment varies with their month of birth, with September-born pupils on average having higher attainment than those born [...]

By | May 12th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|

Shadowplay

Towards the end of last month, the Department for Education published ‘shadow’ Attainment 8 data for 2015/16 [PDF]. This shows the impact of moving from the familiar scoring of A*-G grades – one point for grade G, up to eight points for grade A* – to the interim scale that will be used in 2016/17 [...]

By | April 27th, 2017|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

What PISA tells us about pupils from ordinary working families

Last week, we heard a lot from the government about their interest in children from ‘ordinary working families’. (For our initial take on the topic, see here and here.) In its new consultation document, the Department for Education has provided information on the GCSE grades and progress of these children – defined as those not [...]

By | April 20th, 2017|Admissions, Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|

Are 19-year-olds really becoming less qualified?

Aficionados of DfE Statistical First Releases (SFRs) were shocked to their very core a couple of weeks ago with the revelation that the percentage of 19-year-olds qualified to Level 2 had fallen for the first time since records began. In the real world this equates to young people achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C [...]

By | April 14th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Post-16 provision, School accountability|

‘Ordinary working families’ are not educationally disadvantaged – those claiming benefits are

The Department for Education has published a consultation document on family incomes, pupil attainment and school attended that will either fascinate (if you are a data cruncher) or terrify you (if you are a privacy campaigner). For the first time, the records of pupils sitting in the National Pupil Database have been matched to parental [...]

By | April 12th, 2017|Admissions, Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|

What difference does a year make? Part 2

This is part two in a series of posts exploring trends in attainment over time by month of birth. Other posts in the series can be found here. In the first part in this series we looked at how attainment at age seven – Key Stage 1 – varied with pupils’ month of birth. Overall, [...]

By | March 30th, 2017|Exams and assessment, Pupil demographics|