The first topic we want to discuss is ‘The Purpose of Education’ which we believe is fundamental in steering the future of education policy in the right direction. We have posed a series of questions to stimulate discussion on this topic however, we want you to let us have your views. Please suggest a debate on this first topic by leaving your comments in the box on the right, or go to the debate page to see the topics already being discussed.

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    Balanced accountability frameworks

    Accountability arrangements can help incentivise educational improvement but need to achieve the right balance between holding schools and school leaders to account and supporting schools to improve.

    Accountability arrangements can help incentivise educational improvement but need to achieve the right balance between holding schools and school leaders to account and supporting schools to improve. So while the publication of test results can have a positive effect on school and student performance, they can also bring perverse consequences such as teaching to the test, manipulating test scores and making schools with high scores complacent. The higher the stakes attached to test results, the more sophisticated the data needs to be to provide a complete and balanced picture of performance. No single assessment can meet the information needs of policy makers, teachers and parents.

    The best accountability systems also include broader student learning objectives and encourage schools to be aspirational. Crucially, they are also more likely to lead to improvement if they focus attention on information relevant to teaching and learning – and motivating teachers and schools to use that information to compare practice with other schools in order to improve performance.

    Questions
    • If assessment should focus as much on feedback and helping students and teachers to improve the quality of learning and teaching as on results in end of year and key stage tests, how should assessment arrangements be changed to achieve this balance?
    • How do we ensure that school and college leaders are incentivised to work with and support other schools when the accountability measures that are reported to the public and parents focus on the levels of attainment in individual schools?
    Phase II: Improving the quality of teaching and learning and the leadership of learning
    Total replies: 1 Last comment: 19 Nov 13
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  1. ‹ Latest comment

    Daniel Foster, School/college leader

    It can be very hard to assess students half termly in non core subjects that may not have had that many hours of learning. When units are taught they should be assessed and high quality feedback given to students. Some staff seem to really struggle with fine levels and having time to mark this way and moderate across the department can be a huge challenge.
    Praise and positive encouragement is vital for students and staff alike and this must be remembered at all times. If difficult conversations need to take place some positives/strengths should be included.

    Comment on this Comment made: 19 NOV 2013

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