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AQA vs Edexcel and new HOD

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by slatif5, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. slatif5

    slatif5 New commenter

    I am starting a new job as a Head of department, would like to switch exam boards from Edexcel to AQA, any advice on how to convince SLT??

    Also how to negotiate the pay with HR as I am on M5 and would like to start with UPS, nay advice?
  2. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    With exam board, you need to be able to explain how changing course will be of benefit to students bearing in mind the cost of new exercise books and training any existing staff. Will it lead to better results or be a better preparation for further study?

    Regarding pay negotiations, you will need to look at your school's pay policy to see if there are any grounds for accelerated movement through the pay scale / having evidence that you meet the criteria for UPS. Some schools do allow teachers to apply for UPS even if they are not yet at the top of the main scale if they have sufficient evidence.
  3. muso2

    muso2 Occasional commenter Community helper

    I switched exam boards as a new hod (obviously not for the students part-way through their course). I wrote up my rationale for doing so, and how it would be better for students and results, e.g at that time the percentage of CA and exams varied between boards. One of my reasons was also that I'd taught that board for several years before and had built up a bank of resources and colleagues to network with, and I think that's also a valid reason - teaching and learning was better because I wasn't reinventing the wheel every week.
    I had to write to parents of the new year 10s as well, advised by SLT and say they could contact me with any questions about it. Nobody did.
  4. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    I’m assuming you’ve had previous experience with the AQA exam board thus requesting to change or is it that you’ve analysed previous year’s results and they haven’t been great and you feel that a change in exam board will have a positive impact?

    If it’s the former and you know that the AQA curriculum has been more beneficial, you could highlight this to SLT and explain the positive outcomes that you’ve experienced from them. It probably wouldn’t be an instantaneous decision, they would have to take the idea away and discuss before coming to a final decision as there would be costs involved.
  5. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    Good advice on exam boards above. The time to negotiate salary would have been before you formally accepted the job - you don't have a strong position to negotiate now.
  6. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    I did this too, and my SLT waved my ideas through (I think they were pretty shocked I'd taken the trouble to a) consult them and b) write it!)

    Regarding pay negotiations, you have very little chance if you didn't already cover this at interview.
  7. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    With the change of exam boards I think it depends how many staff will be in your dept and how experienced they are with Edexcel. I joined a dept years ago who were on AQA and I wanted to change to OCR. I spoke to the staff in the dept, and they said they felt comfortable with AQA, and it was all they knew. So I agreed to stick with AQA for a year to try it myself and see. They could see me making allowances, it was beneficial for me to experience another exam board that I hadn't taught before, and it gave me a year to work out which one really was better. After a year I still thought OCR was better and argued my case, and it was much easier to win them over as they could see I had given it a go and wasn't just coming in making sweeping changes for no reason. As for SLT, they could see I had taught both specs too so they knew I was basing my decision on experience. And I went armed with a list of pros / cons for each spec to show them why I thought the switch would be better for the students.
    sbkrobson and strawbs like this.

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