My thoughts recently have been concerned with resits of one form or another, both at either end of the 11 -16 age spectrum. So not only are we dealing with the impending new 9-1 GCSE, the ends of my spectrum are blurred with uncertainty (it isn’t as painful as that sounds!?!) and I find that once again I fear plans will get unleashed on us with very little time and I know the clock is ticking.

Let’s first deal with the year 7 resits. Before all the hype over the new KS2 assessments that resulted in Nicky Morgan recording a scathing (in my opinion … yes I’m entitled to one!) video message I blogged about these on several occasions, in fact I “may” mention that I think it’s an awful idea IN THIS POST . Check out the blog from Michael Tidd for a fuller picture of what is going on in primary (he was described to me as someone who gets angrier than me!!) . Some teachers (and they’re the ones doing the job day in and day out!) are arguing that the new “expected progress” of the English exemplar materials bears no resemblance to the original plans in the governments own plans as laid out in their consultation on “Primary Accountability and Assessment” and are suggesting that it is similar to a level 5. Now lets hope that isn’t the case in Maths. The original consultation stated on several occasions that:

new expected standardNOTE: In fact the actual “expected progress” won’t be known until June at the earliest. I get that the aim is to raise the progress and attainment (or whatever you want to term it!) but let’s put this into context – I am going to use my patented “back of the fag-packet calculator” – of what this will mean to us in secondary. The 2014/15 from the governments own statistics for the Maths KS2 results shows: 

level 4bThis means that if the “expected progress” is set at the level similar to a 4b then about 23% of students are likely to require resits in year 7 – OK. so some students will be exempt but not 23% of them! STOP and think about the implications of this. Instead of being able to move towards a 5 year curriculum and for the need for intervention to be put in place in year 11, we’ll be throwing resources at these poor year 7’s and some (MOST? ALL?) Maths teachers will never get the opportunity to be proactive at intervening – we will end up on this flipping cycle of late intervention FOREVER!. Do I need to mention that these resources are getting scarcer by the day?? (TBH the insanity of our government and the scale of the changes makes me consider more and more often if I shouldn’t consider returning to the corporate world!)

Anyway I’ve digressed. Regardless of my views I still have a belief (yes I am that naive) that our views are listened to (occasionally) and so I asked the DFE to confirm if there would be a consultation on these year 7 resits as it was promised there would be … I received the below response.

year 7 resitsThey’d better get a move on though … have I mentioned that the clock is ticking? When it is published I will be blogging the sh1t out of it to ensure you use the opportunity to make your views known!

This brings me nicely to the fact that were are still awaiting news on the consultation that closed on the 2nd February in relation to resits for GCSE/AS and A Level – this included the possibility of having a LEGACY GCSE Maths for the current specification for our current year 11’s. I know it is only 3 weeks since the consultation closed but seriously we need to know. Colleges need to know and students need to know. Oh hang on … the awarding bodies also need to know as they have to prepare the papers and I know that this can take up to a year to get it right. Get a move on!!

Oh and if you are listening DFE … just stop! Stop with the ideas of these tests! They are an AWFUL, AWFUL idea … maybe testing at the end of year 9 might be more appropriate?? (**winks**)