There have been a couple of headlines recently that have caught my attention but I know regular readers (do I have regular readers? if so **waves hello**) will find the it as no surprise that I’d be interested. The BBC Education Page ran with “Exam changes risk problems for schools, say heads” and the online version of the TES went for “Maths GCSE standards row prompts call to postpone new exam”. The actual paper version of the TES article features yours truly on page 12 …
So today I may have sent an adapted version of my “open letter” that I wrote as a blog post to Nick Gibb MP as an “actual letter” to him (I know! Paper and EVERYTHING!!) asking that he confirms that he has been provided with the assurances he requested in his letter (24th November) to Ofqual where he stated that “without such reassurances I remain serious (sic) concerned about the implications for the success of the governments qualification reforms with regard to maths”.
This has been prompted by some shenanigans closer to home in my role as a Parish Councillor (imagine that … Councillor Muldowney!) where I have been introduced to something called “purdah” which commences on 30th March 2015.. Basically the government retains its responsibility to govern and Ministers remain in charge of their Departments (after all normal business must go on) HOWEVER, ministers and civil servants are issued with guidance about the need to “observe discretion in initiating any new action of a continuing or long-term character. Decisions on matters of policy on which a new Government might be expected to want the opportunity to take a different view from the present Government should be postponed until after the Election, provided that such postponement would not be detrimental to the national interest or wasteful of public money” (reference = .gov)
This period does not stop once the results of the election are in and given that we aren’t due to get the results from the Ofqual research project until a week before the election I have a fear that this machine is rolling and it won’t be stopped. Not because it can’t be stopped but out of sheer bloody mindedness. The fact that it makes sense to just defer Maths and English to start at the same times as the other subjects is irrelevant but doing this would give Ofqual time to ensure that the credibility of the accreditation process is restored. In my opinion this is more down to “saving face” and not having the balls (after all if you’d been listening to the news this evening Education is one of THE main political vote winners) to defer it.
There is a lot at stake I suppose … yep …. the future of over 500,000 students but I stand by the fact that their futures are more important than a few bruised egos.
I genuinely don’t expect a response but my conscience won’t leave me alone so ‘tis done and that’s me signing off on the subject. I’m done too … Normal service will resume where I get back to blogging about my teaching resources. Yay!
EDIT: Obviously when the new SAMs are published or if there are any updates … I will be blogging about it!
If you haven’t got a Scooby doo about what I’m talking about all the posts I’ve written about the whole debacle are listed below and if you have half hour take a look: