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Is it normal to set attainment targets at 100% secure?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by LRhodes88, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. LRhodes88

    LRhodes88 New commenter

    Hi there,

    I just had a meeting with my line manager and this year their primary target is to get 100% secure in Writing, Reading and Maths? I'm just wondering if this is normal/seen in other schools? This is not based on data of the year group but just 'our ambitious aim'.

    Any advice to help me get my thoughts straight on this one!

  2. eleanorms

    eleanorms Occasional commenter

    Not really, no, although with some cohorts it may be possible.
    Last year one of our SLT said to us they had set the end of ks2 targets as "aspirational " and how did we feel about that? I said you can call them whatever you like, they'll either pass or they won't.
    There are realistic targets, aspirational targets and ridiculous targets. Only you know which one yours is.
  3. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    You wouldn't hire a teacher who didn't have "getting every child secure" as their ambitious aim. That should be taken as read. It doesn't mean it should be a target used to measure them by, though.
    agathamorse and starlightexpress like this.
  4. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    What if a pupil is off ill for half the year? Or has a traumatic family event that causes them to regress(say the death of a sibling/parent)? Or is excluded by the HT for some time? Hardly the teacher's fault!
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Different context but same idea. We issue grades after A level and GCSE Mock exams: "Grade Now," "Most Likely" and "Best." ML is done by looking at historical data on progress plus an understanding of the individual student (and tends to be spot on), while "Best" is aspirational and about 10% of students reach it. Depends entirely on what's meant by a target - I'd love to get 100% Grade 9s in GCSE, but it's not going to happen in my school!
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Yes, setting stupid, ridiculous, unreachable, nonsense targets is normal

    I ignore them and set my own.

    "do my best for every child"
  7. BTBAM85

    BTBAM85 New commenter

    Leave the school. Who on earth thinks they're getting 100% in all of those?

    Either your line manager and SLT are genuinely loopy and you need to get out, or they genuinely believe this is motivating for staff and you need to get out, or they actually think you're going to do ANYTHING different to what you did before they set that 100% target and you should get out
    Sally006 likes this.
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Tsk. Sometimes I get a bit fed up of this sort of question.
    I'm not sure why any body in their right mind would query this as a useful and accurate management tool, because there will be a commensurate failure rate with which staff can conveniently be demotivated depending on who in particular requires demotivating at that particular point.
    Keep up!
  9. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    This is what I genuinely don't understand about all this target setting.

    My PM target includes child A but not child B

    Who in their right mind would respond by teaching child A better, working harder for child A or caring more about child A?

    Of course I don't.

    I know some people do, but I don't think it is fair, or morally defensible
    Jamvic likes this.
  10. ajrowing

    ajrowing Established commenter

    Oi, you can't use that, that's my target.
    livingstone83, Jamvic and Corvuscorax like this.
  11. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Occasional commenter

    Are you sure it's not 100% secure progress??
  12. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    It is unusual, but as long as this target is not a performance management objective, it doesn’t really matter.

    Just do the same as everybody else - Teach the best lessons you possibly can and see what happens at the end of the year!
  13. install

    install Star commenter

    See Union. Sounds like slt are covering themselves by setting challenging targets. You could all get stung on Performance Management too if you do not hit these aims. The new Ofsted regime will love it.

    But do not be the one complaining. Let the Union do that.
  14. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Fantastic. That's their target and so for them to worry about. Don't give it another thought.
    That should be the 'ambitious aim' of every teacher in every school. Nothing wrong with ambitious aims, so long as they don't become PM targets, there is no problem.
    Jamvic likes this.
  15. banjouk

    banjouk Occasional commenter

    I’d complain, as there is no scope to exceed the targets you have been set ;)
    livingstone83 likes this.
  16. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Aah, all these lazy teachers- who would spend all day relaxing in the staff room if they didn't get set targets; it's not as if they started teaching because they wanted to help children to become secure in lit/num skills- seem to think that today's children (no matter what their background is) shouldn't jump through the hoops and achieve so much more than the children of twenty years ago...I think it would be lovely if all my students became doctors by the end of the year. They won't, but I think it would be nice. It would also be nice if we had 100% attendance (in a very deprived area, with many students who need to miss sessions due to court dates/hospital appointments for serious ongoing medical conditions) so let's set that as a target. Why is it more REALISTIC to expect 100% attendance than to expect every one of them to become a doctor/attend Oxbridge/fly to the moon? All great things, and I'd try to help them all achieve everything they can-but being realistic, it's about as likely that ALL will achieve passes/100% as any of the other things!
    ajrowing likes this.
  17. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Occasional commenter

    And how do 'they' propose to achieve 'their' target?
    Probably by applying constant pressure to the teachers until everyone is exhausted and sick with stress and anxiety.
    Targets should be ambitious, but they must also be realistic and achievable.
    I suspect that you are in for some S**T this year.
  18. livingstone83

    livingstone83 Occasional commenter

    I've been out of the PM loop for a while, but when I was a GCSE Science teacher we used to use FFTA targets.
    Now, there's been a lot of whisky in the intervening period, but I'm pretty sure that FFTA targets where calculated by the Fisher Price machine, whereby you whack a load of KS2 results in and track them to GCSE outcomes.
    Each specific KS2 score was tracked and then collated with the top 5% of GCSE outcomes for that specific score. This GCSE outcome was then used as a target for your mini Y7's that had received the same KS2 score.
    So, ultimately, your mini Y7's were given GCSE targets that the 'top' 5% of students gained in their GCSE's that had the same KS2 score.

    So, with the wind blowing in the right direction you could expect that one kid out of twenty would meet that target.

    Now, when we had our PM targets, we were expected to get 95% of our class to meet these targets.
    So, with the wind blowing in the right direction, you can expect one out of twenty.... 95% is nineteen out of twenty.

    Well, I was hoping for a gale force wind, a cyclone, a hurricane and Jesus H Christ himself to get behind me.... Obviously they didn't.

    So yeah, that cost me about £2,000 in moving up the scale plus diminished pension contributions for however long.
    Same story the following year too. Another £2,000 plus pension contributions - and of course the public sector wages not rising with inflation.

    So, is it normal? Who knows. It's not unheard of. Though I will say that when all the staff are on these kind of targets, they leave - though not before having an horrific time, descending into anxiety, depression and a host of other stress-related conditions.
    HolyMahogany and agathamorse like this.
  19. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    I agree that it's risky to be the only one complaining, and the union should be able to give good advice, but we need to remember that unions aren't some distant force that waits in the wings to come in and fight our battles. Unions are us. If teachers aren't willing to stand up and be counted within their schools then unions are powerless - if I was an unscrupulous head, why would I care what unions said if I knew none of my teachers would ever be willing to take industrial action?
  20. install

    install Star commenter

    I agree teachers need to stand up - but it is at their own peril these days. Let's face it in some schs Union reps get targeted too. Remember some places do not even accept Unions. So how can a teacher possibly defend their own professional position.

    It's a world of bullying, fear and intimidation in some places. The new Ofsted regime will only encourage that imho. And the chances are the same ones will be targeted again and again.

    So the Union is the mouthpiece.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
    HolyMahogany and agathamorse like this.

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