Recommendation 8 - Responding Positively to Change
The contents of this page are extracted from our Response to "Rochford Review: Final Report" that was first published in November 2016. The document can be downloaded in its entirety by clicking here.
The Report talks about the recommendations for assessing pupils working below the standard of National Curriculum tests form one part of the reform programme that the Government is taking forward. It says schools need to change and evolve, but that schools should build on what works. There is a lot of good practice already out there and schools don’t need to invent something new or throw away what they already have. They need to develop what they have to ensure that it is effective and meaningful.
There will always be a need for pupil tracking, but this shouldn’t be the only way to present data. Schools need to decide on the most appropriate way of demonstrating progress to parents, carers, senior leadership and governors. One size most definitely doesn’t fit all.
I believe that the Government will provide schools with end of key stage comparative data for pupils working on the pre-key stage standards and the Report has recommended that pupils working on non-subject-specific learning should not have data collected. I hope that people using this comparative data for pupils with SEND understand that this information is not a true reflection of the effort and work that has been put in by the pupils and the teachers. It does remove the need for schools to find a way to compare themselves with other schools. All too often comparisons are based on academic performance with minimal context and ignoring other areas of need.
How Does this Affect B Squared?
We also need to respond positively to change. B Squared cannot sit still and we cannot continue assessing against the P levels. We not only need to change the focus of our assessment frameworks but look at how this information is presented and used. The Report talks about meaningful communication with parents and carers, schools need to find what works for families. While we can show percentage progress and how this compares to their peers, this may not be the most appropriate information to give to parents and carers. Sharing evidence with parents so they can see what their child can now achieve or has experienced may be the most meaningful ways to demonstrate pupil development.
The Report talks about peer review and sharing good practice, I feel evidence will be a big part of this as schools will need to show the effectiveness of their approach. I also feel that it is important that B Squared facilitate schools working together and sharing what they do.
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