Giving up on careers advice*

If something is important, but not possible, should schools try to do it anyway? There is no better example of a thing-that-can’t-be-done than careers education. The argument for careers education seems compelling: many students (particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds) don’t know what jobs are out there, therefore careers advice is important. Nearly every adult you meet …

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Don’t let ‘perfect’ become the enemy of ‘better’ in the revision of accountability metrics

Last week, Ed Dorrell wrote a strange editorial in TES called ‘Why attaching excluded pupils' results to their school won't work'. I say it was strange because he failed to address the major impediment to including off-rolled pupils in accountability metrics (i.e. finding them... for that, read on). There is no doubt that there are …

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Writing the rules of the grading game (part III): There is no value-neutral approach to giving feedback

These three blogs (part I, part II, part III here) are based on a talk I gave at Headteachers' Roundtable Summit in March 2019. My thoughts on this topic have been extensively shaped by conversations with Ben White, a psychology teacher in Kent. Neither of us yet know what we think! Our beliefs about our …

Continue reading Writing the rules of the grading game (part III): There is no value-neutral approach to giving feedback

Writing the rules of the grading game (part II): The games children play

These three blogs (part I, part II here, part III) are based on a talk I gave at Headteachers' Roundtable Summit in March 2019. My thoughts on this topic have been extensively shaped by conversations with Ben White, a psychology teacher in Kent. Neither of us yet know what we think! The two fundamental jobs …

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Writing the rules of the grading game (part I): The grade changes the child

These three blogs (part I here, part II, part III) are based on a talk I gave at Headteachers' Roundtable Summit in March 2019. My thoughts on this topic have been extensively shaped by conversations with Ben White, a psychology teacher in Kent. Neither of us yet know what we think! Teachers are rarely trained …

Continue reading Writing the rules of the grading game (part I): The grade changes the child

When would you like to be in a smaller class: age 5 or age 15?

Question: What links GCSE Design and Technology* with my 4 year old's class size? Answer: Money. And the choices we've made about how to spend it. We've made the strangest resourcing choices in England, although it is so ingrained in our societal norms that is hard for us to recognise it. Children start at age 4 …

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