New education assessment changes concern teaching unions in East Lancashire (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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New education assessment changes concern teaching unions in East Lancashire
CHANGES to the way secondary schools are assessed have raised concerns with unions and politicians in East Lancashire.
From 2016, schools will no longer be judged by the proportion of pupils awarded five GCSEs at grade C or better, including English and maths.
The government has said from then, schools will be judged on pupils’ progress across eight subjects, Cs in English and maths and the proportion of pupils gaining the new English Baccalaureate.
Lancashire’s National Union of Teacher’s representative Simon Jones described the changes as ‘misleading’ and a ‘league table culture’.
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones has also voiced concerns that the government was ‘tinkering with the exam system’.
In announcing the changes, Minister of State for Schools David Laws said the current system focused too much on those pupils on the C/D borderline. The governement said it is hoped the changes will focus more help on lower achievers.
Simon Jones, from the the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said: “These new accountability measures will put many more schools below the new floor targets and will be devastating to many.
“There will be no recognition of the important work schools do in terms of preparing pupils for adult life and active citizenship. This is work which cannot be readily measured within a league table format and despite its relevance will go unacknowledged. We also welcome the move away from a ‘spotlight’ on pupils on the C/D borderline. However there is no guarantee this new system will not throw up a whole new set of issues.”
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones called for more information and communication.
He said: “Many parents, pupils and teachers are concerned at the government's tinkering with the exam system.
“It is important that any new proposals allow teachers to help pupils of all abilities to achieve the best results they can and that there are no new perverse incentives.
“There also needs to be more detail about how the changes will impact on technical and vocational education. I would like to see the government support calls for all young people to continue to study maths and English to age 18.
“It is also important that the government meet with headteachers to discuss how these changes are implemented.”
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