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Reaction to Ofqual Report

Discussion in 'English' started by pippin35, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. ukpaul

    ukpaul Occasional commenter

    A large group of independent schools have been complaining to AQA about the terrible state of the drama exam/marking/boundaries for a few years now. AQA respond the same as they are also now doing to English, that is to avoid any transparency, to claim no knowledge of anything and to put up people to run meetings who claim that they haven't got a clue what is going on.
    They don't care about elites or anyone, just that the buck doesn't stop with them and that they can still pick up their pay cheque.

  2. I am sad to say that I think this is exactly what has happened. Some english depts. have looked at the boundries in jan and 'made sure' the vast majority of their pupils had those marks or better.
    I am afraid it is all quite inevitable when you make the course 60% CA and then put schools/teachers under pressure.
    Ultimately of course its always the pupils who lose.
  3. All I can say is I am going to become an anarchist. Fed up with giving hours and hours of encouragement to students who believe and understand what you tell them ( i.e. what you have to do to get next grade etc) for it all to be thrown up in the air cos of politics and one Mr Gove in particular. Poor students! It is manifestly unfair. Also my poor department who are demporalised and confused. How on earth do we mark CAs next year? Give them ridiculous grades so we know they'll get a C? I don't know where to start in advising the department as I haven't a clue myself.
  4. What bemuses me is how AQA can mark down CA's without actually seeing them? I think this proves the system is just a shambolic mess. For this year June candidates should be marked the same as January & then the goal posts can be moved at THE START of the academic year.
  5. my poor department who are demporalised and confused.
    The main thing is to remember why we came into teaching. We dust ourselves off, look at the new Year 11's and we figure out how to beat the blooming system. Nil desperandum. This cohort have the excuse that it was "Gove" who shafted them., The next cohort WILL be better prepared.
  6. "Labour voting" ? !!!! At least you've given me a chuckle tonight ....albeit an ironic one. I imagine you as a twenty- something intern , conservative (big and small "C") tasked with holding back the tide of teacher anger/disillusionment by some right-wing think tank. Are you being paid to post here ? Pointless asking I suppose but doubt whether you are a HOD, glad I don't work in your department...if you have one. By the way, I have been (and still am !) HOD for 17 years in state and private schools. What comes through for me in your posts is someone with no experience of teaching whatsoever...do you "read" "The Daily Mail" by any chance ? Oh, as a matter of interest, don't dismiss this as a personal attack and thereby not worthy of attention and scrutiny. There is absolutely nothing credible in any of your comments which suggests you have any knowledge of the pressures of teaching or the core grievance English departments. Just had another look at your latest ........."the Ofqual report was honest and I respect their findings"......fantastic. You could make famine, flood and pestilence seem like a little local difficulty.You remind me of someone who thinks because they have a certain view of events that in itself is justification for their validity; people swore the earth was flat once.It is as if ,by taking a contrary stance you believe this confers some gravitas on your stance. Look up H.L Mencken "Opinions are like ****holes...everyone's got one". You've set yourself up as a denier/radical. What thought-processes do you go through whereby you imagine that your perception of events is somehow more insightful and clear-sighted than every single poster here. Has it crossed your mind that you might be wrong...I'm guessing not. Oh sorry I forgot, your views are to be respected, you are a HOD. Don't forget to fill out your expenses form for whoever is paying you.
  7. Pritprat
    Trip trap
  8. I see you don't like debate. That's sad, if you can't discuss without resorting to name-calling, dear.

    Ofqual have investigated. They listened, talked to the exam boards and they have said what happened. They have been very kind and allowed a retake for those affected, which I don't think they should have done, but I can compromise.

    I have no time for teachers who, frankly, made a complete mess of their predicted grades and then can't stop moaning about it when they were found out. The huge amount of moaning has meant that their mistake has now been nationally exposed. The whole world can see what a mess English teachers made for themselves.

    I know you look silly now, but I am happy to move on. I hope you learn from your mistakes.
  9. DalekTeacher

    DalekTeacher New commenter

    Pritprat, I am sorry but I think you are being very harsh with your comments and I think they are far from appropriate. I am aware that a forum is designed to allow such opinions to be released but is there any need for some of the points you have been making?
    Predicted grades, I thought were just that - they could go up or down and they have to be done. We teach the pupils and therefore are in a firm position to be able to make as an accurate judgement as possible about their grades. It may not always be possible to get them right as many factors can affect them surely. Sometimes we get them right, sometimes we may not. We are only human anyway and the predictions are not set in stone and I think all English teachers are aware of this.
    I also think that your comment about English teachers "moaning" is also harsh. Yes, English teachers voiced concern but there is a reason for this. When you work with pupils who are fighting to the full to achieve a 'C' or above so they can move onto the next stage in their career, of course, anger will flourish because of how disappointed pupils may feel as a result.
    If you are like this on a forum, I dread to think what you are like with pupils in a classroom.
  10. 2knackered

    2knackered New commenter

    This may seem like a naive question but...
    how can ALL of the exam boards get it wrong, with both the boundaries for controlled assessments AND examinations?
    With the final 40% coming from a range of units, EVERYTHING was around 10 marks out in January?
    That's the bit I'll find hardest to explain on Tuesday.

  11. I think we should all accept that whilst the manner in which this whole thing was done was totally pathetic and wrong, there were alot of depts and teachers who 'gamed' the system and the CA.
    I guess they are not on forums confused and upset. Instead it has all probably (and unfortunately) confirmed in their minds that this is the way they have to 'teach'.
    A sad state of affairs.
  12. Some stats, in response to pritprat's assertion that English teachers need to get real.
    English has the lowest average increase in A*-C grades in any core or major subject since 1993: 6.6%, or an annual average rise of 0.35%. Maths has risen 12.1%, the Sciences over 20%. The increases in subjects such as PE and ICT exceed 25%.

  13. keyboard2

    keyboard2 Established commenter

    In what sense?
    The general crux of the report is focused on removing blame from AQA and pouring jargon over a rather straightforward co ck up.
    AQA increased the required number of marks to achieve a grade C in June because the percentage of C and above grades rewarded were too high in the January entry. To ameliorate this worrying predicament, AQA increased the required number of marks required to achieve a grade C. The result: fewer passes, lower percentages.
    I am not defending AQA's decision. I am as pis sed off about the situation as every other English teacher I have spoken to. AQA decided to increase the C boundary mark during the English course without notification - a truly dreadful decision. This does not mean I have issues with AQA making the course (and the unit one exam) harder, to the contrary. But this should be done when a new cohort begin their own course.
    The examiners are annoyed now. According to the Ofqual chief executive, the January papers were marked "too leniently". Nonsense. The papers, I suspect, were marked adequately by subject specialists (rather than university students like a few years ago - remember?) and the emphasis should be with AQA for making the number of marks required to achieve a grade C too low.

  14. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    It is, indeed, nonsense. The generic mark scheme, which any school can get hold of, has been the same since June 2011, and as examiners we all worked with that same mark scheme in June, January and June. I am a subject specialist and an experienced examiner, so for OfQUAL to suggest that we were too lenient is crass and ridiculous. I know that I applied the same standard in all the series, as I am expected to do. We are graded each year for our work, and people who are out of tolerance are adjusted, and those who are erratic don't get to do it again.
    OfQUAL are being deliberately disingenuous by suggesting that examiners are at fault. We simply mark the papers; we have nothing whatsoever to do with the grade boundaries.
    As for the students thing, wasn't that KS3?
  15. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    The trouble is that by 'examiners' Ofqual means 'awarding bodies', which becomes clear(ish) in the report.
    Mind you, Ofqual also calls them 'boards'.
  16. keyboard2

    keyboard2 Established commenter

    Me too. Unlike you, however, I have only marked papers on a few occasions and applied the letter of the law; namely, I was instructed to adhere to the mark scheme.
    In fact, if I remember rightly, the required number of marks to achieve a grade C was never revealed; everything was discussed in bands and numbers, not grades. Was it the same with you?
    This is AQA's fault. They deserve to be treated with antipathy. The number of marks required to achieve a C was decided by AQA - not teachers or examiners. This has simply not been mentioned.
    Yes, absolutely. My point is OFQUAL did not have a problem with unqualified students marking children's papers but seem to have ambivalence with experienced markers marking "too leniently". You couldn't make it up!
  17. I am not an English teacher, but am part of SLT in a school that has been affected by the shift in grade boundaries. Has anyone mentioned grade boundaries for the June 2011 AQA Unit 1? According to their UMS converter you needed 44 marks for a C in June 2011, was this 'too lenient' also?
  18. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Now dear, (Ofqual voice [on]) you have to understand that it's complex. Because it's a new spec.
    The only thing that is right is the June 2012 grade boundaries. Does that help at all? (Ofqual voice [off]).
    I predict a totally new spec, 100% exam, from Sept 2013, if not sooner. I honestly wouldn't put it past Gove to insist on a change part way through the course starting tomorrow.

  19. gingerella

    gingerella New commenter

    Can someone else read the AQA report on the January exam and find the words 'lenient' or 'too easy so it will be more difficult in June'.
    We were marking to the criteria imposed on us, for a clear explanation read Geoff Barton's blog, the man who exam boards/governments have so admired!
  20. vacherin

    vacherin New commenter

    There has never been any lenient marking. To suggest otherwise is pure fantasy.

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