Exam changes risk problems for schools, say heads

The BBC is reporting new warnings from heads that changes to the exam system, which come into force in six months’ time, risk causing significant problems for schools…

The National Association of Head Teachers is warning of an extended time of volatility, with students unsure which exams and subjects to take…

NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby said: “We face an extended period of volatility.

“The cause of this volatility is the sheer scale and speed of changes to the examination system – changes to both the scoring of the exams themselves, and to the way these scores are used to judge the performance of schools.”

He said that on top of this, a new way of measuring both secondary and primary school performance was being introduced.

“Not all of these changes are bad,” Mr Hobby said.

“The concern is that the scale and pace of them will make it very hard indeed to know what will happen and how the changes will interact.”

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “School and college leaders are deeply unhappy about the way in which a large number of changes to exams have been introduced in a short space of time in a piecemeal manner.

“This has resulted in them having to manage an extremely difficult situation, with changes to many different qualifications happening at different times.

“This process has also put teachers under a great deal of unnecessary pressure, and the confusing nature of the changes has caused students and their parents anxiety.

“These problems could have been avoided if changes had been introduced in a more manageable and coordinated way.”

…Last week at a speech in Coventry, exams regulator, Ofqual, warned the system could not tolerate any further reform under a future government until these changes have been completed and allowed to settle…

More at: Exam changes risk problems for schools, say heads

 

So on balance, is it the nature of the reforms or the pace of their implementation that is of most concern? And would slowing down change really help? Please let us know how you think it should have been handled…

 

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Iissue is that many of the exam changes from DfE are simply a case of making stuff difficult for difficult’s sake, no more

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Iissue is that many of the exam changes from DfE are simply a case of making stuff difficult for difficult’s sake, no more

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Many tests simply becoming test of memory rather than ability eg. Book quotes, formulae that in reality you could look up

  4. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove DfE have developed an exam system that pressures rather than one that allows individuals to show what they can do

  5. grannypatt

    SchoolsImprove my grown up kids. One had to revise for every exam. One crammed the night before each exam. Exams for exams sake. Ritual

  6. grannypatt

    SchoolsImprove my grown up kids. One had to revise for every exam. One crammed the night before each exam. Exams for exams sake. Ritual

  7. Janet2

    It’s the content of the exams, the new grading system (1-9), uncoupling AS and A levels, what exams count for league tables, how exams are scored for league tables and changes to the league tables (eg Value 8 progression disadvantages schools where pupils take fewer than 8 exams).

    The frenetic activity of the last four years (the changes above plus the academies/free school programme and curriculum changes) seriously hamper schools.  All these rushed and imposed policies were the fault of just one man – Michael Gove.  He professed to care for education but he’s done immeasurable damage.

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