1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

More pupils affected by school teaching wrong set texts

Discussion in 'Personal' started by foroff2233, May 17, 2019.

  1. foroff2233

    foroff2233 New commenter

    Another (private) school, Malvern Girls', taught wrong English set texts. Understandable consternation ensues; exam board has procedures to rebalance results, it says. I think it happens a few times each year and, of course, more instances get into the news these days.
    I note these events particularly since the same thing happened to me, many years back. I opened my French A level Lit paper to find that I'd only been taught two of the four set texts so I limped through the exam. There was no complaint made on my behalf. I managed a distinction in the 'S' level paper without having had any teaching for it, in fact, for most of the A level course there was no teacher available. ( I was in a Sec. Mod. and my cohort was not expected to progress beyond CSEs).
    Anyone materially affected by this sort of text error in their exams and or future career?
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Not quite the same thing - but I had a terrible Chemistry teacher for A level - he didn't teach anything properly and in the end we just had to do a lot of studying outside of school.

    When we left - we bought him a book - "Teach Yourself Chemistry"
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Also we had no Maths teacher (not even supply) for most of Year 10 and all of Year 11. We were just left to our own devices - despite many parental complaints - nothing was ever done. We virtually all failed and had to re-sit at college.
  4. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    I just don't get how this can happen. I presume the teacher reads the exam spec and then teaches accordingly. That is what I used to do. Any problems you can always email the exam board and unless you are in a department of one there will be colleagues to check things with. I can only think that schools are employing lackwits in order to save money and it is coming home to roost.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I think there is more to this story than we are getting
  6. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Teachers have to provide predicted grades (suck up your eggs granma!) so things like existing marks and coursework can be used to 'correct' for the missing marks. I remember Oxon and Cantab examining board being pulled over the coals for marking up to agree better with private school predicted grades.
  7. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    I see that some students have read Michael Frayn's 'Spies' and it isn't in the exam.

    But it's a really good novel.

    They may not climb the greasy pole but reading 'Spies' will, I hope, have softened their hearts.
    sbkrobson likes this.
  8. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    Those interested in paradigm passing should read my novel 'Gatekeeping Encounters'. It's the story of an illiterate farm worker challenged while scrumping for apples in the grounds of a mansion.

    Years later . . .
  9. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I've taught in a school where this happened in English and heard of other cases, pretty sure there weren't any steps taken to compensate for it and can't remember much parental indignation, though the management would have probably done all they could to keep the fallout discrete. It's not common, but a fairly regular low-frequency mistake.

    Some years ago I taught science alongside another teacher who was having some sort of slow breakdown it seems. He taught the wrong module to a yr.10 class who were about to take a modular exam in it, think we had 8-9 weeks allowed for teaching.

    2 weeks before the exam he realised what he had done, he could have said "oops, we'll have to change the module we've entered them for and swap what we're teaching about a bit", perfectly possible to do without the kids even being aware, though he wouldn't have looked so great.

    Instead he tried to cram the module he should have taught into 2 weeks, after the first week, he realised it wasn't going to work and he didn't come in. It was when a supply teacher came to ask me about what they were supposed to be doing that I discovered what had happened with about 3 days to go to the exam. We changed the module the class was entered for and got them revising the stuff they started doing, "Mr. X went a bit too far in the syllabus, you don't need to revise the stuff from the last week" was all they were told.

    The teacher stayed off to avoid the yr.10 parents evening about the same time and then reappeared. He left at the end of that term (4-5 weeks) by mutual consent.

    Moral of the story - if you ****-up, admit it, things can often be easily changed with little impact on the kids.
  10. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    While I agree with the substance of what you say I would still argue that all a teacher has to do is read the bloomin exam spec and teach the class what it tells you to teach them. If there is any lack of clarity contact the exam board or speak to an experienced colleague. I taught for 35 years and never taught the wrong stuff to any class. I am not God's gift to pedagogy or a super teacher, I just made sure I read the exam spec.
    blazer likes this.
  11. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    One school I worked in History followed the old rather than new spec. Exam board produced an exam. I guess an old one that was their spare.
  12. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Heads should roll.
  13. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    The parents could possibly sue for professional negligence and they might be compensated all their children's tuition fees back. Anyway they are rich kids and they don't need to pass GCSEs because they will have a big inheritance one day.

    May have been an insider job.;)
    cissy3 likes this.
  14. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I personally struggle to understand how someone could make this mistake - simply read the spec and sample assessment materials! But I unfortunately have some insight, having spent the past 2 years working in an international school that would employ anything with a pulse (doesn't even have to be human)...

    Some people are out of their depth, and don't know what an exam spec is, or have any subject knowledge. They get by on personality. They are rewarded for loyalty, not competence.

    Some people have completely checked out mentally, because they don't want to be there any more, thanks to management actions choices (such as changing exam boards half way through the course, and the aforementioned recruitment policy).

    Some people don't pay attention. You need to sign up for exam board updates, check the exam board website, and read stuff in order to notice changes. They requires you to be active.

    Some people can't communicate. They know there's a change, but don't have the skills to relay this to others.

    Some members of SLT lack the competence to recognise incompetence.

    Could be any of the above in the instance the OP refers to.
  15. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    Yes, Lol!

    catbefriender likes this.
  16. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    They're only girls after all., they don't need education. As you and other sexists seem to think.
  17. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Not necessarily, posters have commented before that their parents worked and made sacrifices to pay their school fees while there are burseries available in some schools. Meanwhile it's my view and possibly that of many others that if you are contracted and get paid to do a job you do it properly, I understand though that some folk might disagree.

    In my view heads should roll in any similar case of incompetence whether the school is state run or independent, meanwhile micro management goes on often where uneccesary and those who can't teach "manage"... Always the way.
    Oscillatingass likes this.
  18. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    Its an igcse - easier than the state sch gcse .
  19. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    The parents will most definitely be compensated some way or another and have probably ganged up and got a solicitor to represent them all. A lot of prominent solicitors will probably be offering the parents a no fee no win proposition. However, we have State schools that are Required Improvements, where many of the children WILL fail after having been 'prepared' probably by an unqualified teacher, for the right texts etc. These children will have to go on Level 1 or 2 post 16 courses and then probably into low paid employment opportunities or apprenticeships or benefits as their post 16 options are just as bad as their secondary schools. A few will come out of it well, but for most of them, their chances are substantially lower.

    Not having studied the right 19th century text comprises a smaller percentage of the overall marks, compared to not studying for the unseen poetry and the poetry anthology. Plus more private school children are doing the iGCSE exams and are predicted 9s, so instead of getting 9s they may be getting 6s or 7s, which is still good and their post 16 options will not be affected in the slightest as most are probably staying on in the school.

    Whether the parents are paying or not, every child should be entitled to a good education, however, those from the less advantaged backgrounds, need it more than others to escape the evils of poverty.
  20. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Very unlikely. They would first need to wait for the results to come out in August to see if the pupils had been disadvantaged in any way. Normally the exam board will aegrotat the marks and then check carefully to see that the grades for this year's cohort is in line with that of previous years from the same centre, and that the grades for this paper are inline with the grades awarded to the same candidates in other English papers.

    There will be no chance whatsoever of a claim for compensation if the grades awarded are in line with those expected, which is probably what will happen.

    Every year there are thousands of candidates who don't sit the exam, because of accidents, illness, bereavement and so on, and the aegrotat principle is well established in ensuring that such candidates are not disadvantaged for things which are not their fault.

Share This Page