Is an Ofsted judgement a lagging or leading indicator of school performance?

The school inspectorate, Ofsted, was created in an era where detailed pupil background and attainment data was not collected. The only way to judge whether a school was doing a good job was to visit it. Of course, Ofsted aims to do more than replicate exam performance monitoring. It can report on other dimensions of [...]

By | 2016-12-15T23:08:49+00:00 November 30th, 2015|School accountability|

Headteachers are getting good at filling subject slots

Schools prepare students for the qualifications that they believe will help them get on in life, within the constraints of a National Curriculum set by politicians. But they do so with one eye on the accountability measures by which the school itself will be judged. No government has ever been as active as the Coalition [...]

By | 2016-12-15T22:43:06+00:00 November 30th, 2015|Exams and assessment, School accountability|

Does ability-based selection have to increase inequalities in education?

The decision to allow a new grammar school to open in Kent drew a lot of media attention recently. With the exception of grammar schools, state schools in England are required to admit children irrespective of their ability. A number of developed countries do have school systems, however, which select children into different-ability schools at [...]

By | 2016-12-07T12:55:26+00:00 November 19th, 2015|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

Josh and the Dragons: Measuring Creative Writing

For the last three weeks myself and twelve post-graduates who are studying Creative Writing around the UK have been immersing ourselves in dragons, bears, vampires and ghosts. No, we haven’t been overdosing on Netflix, we have been judging the creative writing of 11 year olds in what we think is the largest experiment ever of [...]

By | 2017-03-03T09:48:28+00:00 November 17th, 2015|Exams and assessment|

Why aren’t we talking about further education and social mobility?

In all the recent debate over grammar schools, a sizeable group of critics has argued that they do nothing for social mobility. So why do we not hear so many voices standing up for a group of institutions that can do something about it? These institutions are those in the further education (FE) sector. And [...]

By | 2017-03-03T09:48:22+00:00 November 13th, 2015|Post-16 provision|

Floors, tables and coasters: Shifting the education furniture in England’s secondary schools

Since our launch eight months ago, Education Datalab has completed research on school admissions and selection, teacher careers, pupil premium gaps and individual pupil attainment trajectories. But we have written more about secondary school accountability than any other topic. This is, perhaps, not surprising, given the enormous changes in the qualification and accountability regimes currently [...]

By | 2017-03-03T09:48:12+00:00 November 10th, 2015|Exams and assessment, Reports, School accountability|