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The problem with primary accountability

As in other industries, accountability in education is inevitable and necessary. The government wants to know if the vast sums of money involved are being well spent and whether or not its assessment reforms and new national curriculum are producing the desired results. Are national educational standards rising and are gaps between the most disadvantaged […]

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A comparison of assessment and accountability in the French and English school systems

In 2018 President Macron announced that the compulsory age for starting school would be lowered from six years’ old to three, a decision that came into effect in September 2019. It was largely symbolic as nearly 98% of three year olds were already attending Ecole Maternelle anyway but is significant because France now has one […]

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Primary assessment and accountability update: Autumn 2020

There is so much going on right now regarding statutory assessment and accountability measures that I thought I’d have a go at summarising it all and provide the links to the relevant documents. So, no messing about, let’s get on with it. The Engagement Model and P Scales Along with the changes to Development Matters […]

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Climbing and the art of data minimalism

When Reinhold Messner climbed Everest in 1980, solo and without supplemental oxygen, it marked a watershed in the history of climbing. Prior to this extraordinary achievement – previously considered beyond the realms of human possibility – expeditions were huge and complex affairs requiring military logistics. Hundreds of porters would ferry massive loads and establish base […]

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The thorny issue of tracking in Early Years

Tracking in the Early Years Foundation Stage is a mess. We’re not talking about statutory assessment here – of the Reception Baseline and the Foundation Stage Profile. This is about day-to-day data collection, especially across the reception year, for the purpose of monitoring pupil progress. I use the phrase ‘day-to-day’ deliberately because let’s admit it: […]

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What is a tracking system for?

Before I get started answering this question, I want to make one thing clear: I’m not keen on the word ‘tracking’ in the context of school data management. I think it’s slightly sinister and misleading. Tracking is what hunters do; and what the military does with missiles. I think we need a better name. How […]

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A shaggy dog story

Once, whilst out running in the Cotswold Hills, I was approached through the woods by a family with three terriers. Two of the dogs were out in front, jostling for position, neither particularly interested in me; and bringing up the rear several metres behind the family was a much older one, ambling along at his […]

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