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Who decides your grouping arrangements?

Discussion in 'English' started by pianopete, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter


    I am currently a KS3 co-ordinator in a large comprehensive school (8 form entry). I am due to be taking over the running of the English department next year (the current subject head, who is also on the leadership team is being seconded for a year to a role elsewhere in the school). Both myself and the KS4 co-ordinator wish to trial mixed ability grouping for a number of reasons (initially due to logistics this would only be Y9 and 10). We have a lot of data and arguments to back us up and staff support however the Head and the outgoing HoD are against the change (primarily for PR reasons).

    Who decides, ultimately, in your department, how you group and set students? In your school, would the head be willing to listen if you had evidence and majority staff support?

    Have any of you moved from sets to mixed and if so, do you have any data to show it has been beneficial.
  2. fineliner

    fineliner Occasional commenter

    Ultimately, this is a management decision. Whatever their reasons, the way that a school organises groups is up to the school management.

    There is loads of evidence to suggest that it doesn't really matter, actually. You could probably focus on making other changes that are within your remit and that would have more impact.
  3. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    For me, it's the school management as well as my decision. After all, it is MY department and how I choose to run it with my staff is a separate matter to how I get told to run it through management.

    Although, I haven't had to change sets or anything like that, but with selection of texts and end of year exams and etc, it's ultimately my choice to go forward with it, with the management's approval. Usually if my line manager agrees to my changes, the changes are almost always guaranteed with head's approval.
  4. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    In my school, the Faculty of English has control over how we group students. Students are, however, placed in bands (halves of the year, typically, though with one side that that tends to be higher ability than the other at KS4) for all subjects. Within these bands, though, we can group students however we like (we're talking up to 180 students in a band here ? we're a big school).

    The only exceptions are Year 7, who are taught in the same ability groups for all subjects (not ideal, but it timetables well) and sixth form classes, which are based on what option blocks a student's combination of subjects fits into (making all our A Level classes mixed ability).
  5. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    Thanks guys. The line manager of English is the head teacher so it's slightly difficult when he disagrees with an idea. That said, it isn't a timetable issue as the two year groups we want to do it with are blocked together and we can choose the arrangement for our subject. Hey ho... will keep on ploughing through the data...
  6. fineliner

    fineliner Occasional commenter

    Don't be down-hearted. I am genuinely surprised at the responses here. In my experience of a range of schools decisions about setting policy (mixed ability, ability sets etc.) are decided and documented at whole school level - this is certainly the case in my LA area. As I said earlier, it probably doesn't matter as much as you think it does - put your energy into the areas where you can make a difference.

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