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 …

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

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 …

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

It’s not (just) what teachers know, it’s who teachers know

I have been talking to many teachers and school leaders recently about what information needs to be recorded, whether in a markbook or in a centralised system, for a teacher to teach effectively. The answer is, partly, that it depends on what information the teacher is able to hold in their head, without the need …

Continue reading It’s not (just) what teachers know, it’s who teachers know

If CPD is so important, then why is so much of it so bad?

Towards the end of last year I took part in a debate about the quality of CPD. I was asked to take one side of the argument, so this is my deliberately one-sided perspective on it. The wonderful people of edu-twitter helped me compile the bizarre examples of CPD that you’ll read below. Everybody remembers …

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The pupil premium is not working (part III): Can within-classroom inequalities ever be closed?

On Saturday 8th September 2018 I gave a talk to researchED London about the pupil premium. It was too long for my 40-minute slot, and the written version is similarly far too long for one post. So I am posting my argument in three parts [pt I is here and pt II is here]. I used …

Continue reading The pupil premium is not working (part III): Can within-classroom inequalities ever be closed?

The pupil premium is not working (part II): Reporting requirements drive short-term, interventionist behaviour

On Saturday 8th September 2018 I gave a talk to researchED London about the pupil premium. It was too long for my 40-minute slot, and the written version is similarly far too long for one post. So I am posting my argument in three parts [pt I is here and pt III is here]. Most school expenditure …

Continue reading The pupil premium is not working (part II): Reporting requirements drive short-term, interventionist behaviour