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How long did you spend assessing grades? Why did you bother?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by monicabilongame, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter


    Most of this summer's grades will be based on statistical modelling of pupil prior attainment, schools’ historic performance data and the rank order of pupils in every subject submitted by schools to exam boards, sources say.

    The exception will be where there are subjects with no more than five entries in a school. In these cases, pupils will be awarded their teacher-assessed grades, as the statistical modelling would be inaccurate with such a small cohort.

    And for entries in school subject cohorts of between five to 15 students, teacher-assessed grades will play a role in the calculation, alongside historic school data and pupils' prior attainment.

    Teacher-assessed grades will also be used in calculations for schools with little or no historical data of their performance - for example, free schools where pupils this year are their first GCSE cohort.

    But for the rest – which will include most results in the mass entry subjects that make up a huge portion of GCSE results – teacher-assessed grades will not be used, Tes understands.

    At A level, for large entry subjects such as chemistry, history and mathematics, one exam board has told Tes that on average 60 per cent of grades will have been calculated using a statistical model, rather than using teacher-assessed grades.

    However, in smaller entry subjects, for example, classical Greek, less than 10 per cent of the grades would have been calculated using the statistical model, with most awarded based on teacher assessment.

    Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council, said Ofqual had not been able to use teacher-assessed grades as they had been too generous.

    "Every school in the country can expect their results to be quite similar to last year, so any notion that one group is going to do well out of this or do better is completely misplaced. They are going to be the same as last year, broadly speaking," he said.

    "The teacher-assessed grades are not being used in the calculation of the grades this year. It’s a combination of the historical record and the rank orders. All the centre-assessed grades were submitted.

    "Now, because they were inflated by 9 or 10 per cent, particularly at grades 4 at GCSE and B at A level, and because Ofqual does not know which schools have inflated unreasonably and which schools have not, they cannot use that data.

    "If they used [teacher-assessed grades] they would be very unfair, because some schools will have been more optimistic than others and secondly because they’re trying to be fair to last year’s students and next year’s students and not therefore inflate the results this year."
  2. install

    install Star commenter

    There will be winners and losers when it comes to actual individual grades. The irony of it all is that if schools had done early entry (something Ofsted oppose) it might have been a fairer individual grade as opposed to one based on group /school statistics.

    Many schools will have sorry lots of time on the ranking of students within the grades. So that will be the key here and to see if that has been changed and where the cut off point is at each grade.

    I will say this : What it has taught schools maybe is that money, where you live and statistics seem to drive exam grades. And that is a concern. It’s the deprived areas , poor communities and those in previously poor performing schools that will suffer most on an individual level. Some private schools must be laughing their socks off when it comes to Exam grades- which they do anyway in places given that they are allowed to do (easier) exams in the first place not allowed in state schools.

    It has also taught schools not to trust the system and to have lots and lots of regular internal individual assessments - all evidenced.Even so - at least students have a chance to retake.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
    Catgirl1964 and agathamorse like this.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I spent the best part of two days doing this.

    I still think the grades that most of my lot will eventually be awarded will be fair enough.

    It's something I can do absolutely nothing about so I'm not going to worry about it.
  4. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    A number of studies have shown that IGCSE is no easier than GCSE, but that attainment in IGCSEs is higher than in GCSE because the vast majority of entries in the UK are from selective independent schools where attainment tends to be higher than in non-selective state schools.
  5. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Weird that when teachers make A level predictions for UCAS, they are told that they under-predict and when they make assessments for exams the students can't take they have apparently over-predicted.
    It's almost as if there was another agenda...
  6. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I don't imagine they will change the ranking. Getting every student ranked as fairly as possible was the main part of the process.
    ajrowing and agathamorse like this.
  7. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    It was fairly easy at the top end and an absolute nightmare in the middle.
  8. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I'm slightly more concerned at the moment though with the fact that I currently have no timetable and not much idea who I'm teaching next month. We also have a new HT nobody knows from Adam and another teacher I really dislike has just been made a member of the new SLT.

    Other than that - everything is Hunky Dory.
  9. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    My daughter was assessed at a lower grade than she was capable of because she was doing the exam with a 1 to 1 tutor in a year and was unable to complete the whole syllabus because of lockdown. So I'm hoping they accept the tutors grade as I think it was reasonable.
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. install

    install Star commenter

    That may be an slt agenda in some schools. With some slt types looking to get pay rises and also apportion blame if grades don’t appear then inflated grade estimates work for them either way.
  11. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    OP, you failed to add the latest news, which is that appeals against grade adjustments against final school submissions will be taken into greater consideration from improving schools.

    Our children have magically been even further subsumed into a world of non meaningful metrics and I am so sad about this.
    steely1, agathamorse and ajrowing like this.
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Could be good news for us.
  13. mousey1394

    mousey1394 New commenter

    Let’s hope that it works out better for your pupils than it has up here.
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    That may also be true, @install but I was referring to outside responses. Universities who say UCAS predicted grades are too low and now these comments on the current crop of results.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    It was obvious from the start that many teacher estimates would be over the top as that's exactly what the system will produce. Everyone is measured against grades, individual teachers, individual pupils, departments, schools, middle managers, SLT.

    Even if the majority of teachers took it seriously and were responsible and fair, there will always be those who will push it.

    We had a young teacher in our department who really wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, every year end we would look at class performance to assign sets for the following year. Her classes always did better than expected in module and end of year exams (that she marked) only to fall again to the expected level the following year. She taught A level one year and was so bad she never did so again. A year or so after I left she was made HoD despite being the probable weakest candidate when I was there (many of the department left in a short time). A couple of years after that she was made SLT.

    It's a proven system for some, bluff and BS can get you through if you play the game. This was just another format of the game.
  16. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Because it’s your job
  17. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    It is quite astonishing how far some really useless people make it up the ladder.

    I had two solid groups who would have done very well in the exams if they had taken place. If they are all marked down I will be very annoyed.
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    I will say this: That isn’t the full story and if it were than state school students would be allowed to do (easier) igcses too.

    When state schools took up igcses their results rose considerably much to the alarm of Gove. Indeed state schools are not allowed to do them because they are not considered challenging enough. There was a report at the time that some state schools were starting to do better than private schools when they all did the same exams. So when compared like for like it actually got surprising.

    What is needed is a fairer system whereby state school students will be allowed to do the same exams that richer private school students can do. A savvy state school parent might consider entering their child privately for some igcses if they can afford the private tutoring and the exam fees.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
    ajrowing likes this.
  19. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    The point of IGCSE in my subject (science) was largely that there was no assessed coursework element, it was all examination which made sense for overseas schools.

    Assessing coursework is a right faff and got worse as time went on when greater steps had to be taken to stop schools from cheating getting too good at them.

    Private schools in particular started doing IGCSE as they weren't subject to the c/w element, of course they perpetuated the myth that they were a harder exam as it helped cashflow.
    agathamorse and bombaysapphire like this.
  20. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Personally I'm glad coursework in Science came to an end - it was a nightmare to do and levels of cheating got ridiculous. I tutored a lad from another school once and he old me how they did their coursework - I won't go into details but if I'd had proof I would have reported them to the exam board.

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