The Vocational Education Trade-Off

Some opponents to vocational education suggest that tracking students into vocational pathways early in school life increases educational inequality. Are they correct? Yes. At least according to a new study by Bol & Van de Werfhorst. What did they do to find this out? Using the data for 29 countries (including the UK) the researchers … Continue reading The Vocational Education Trade-Off

Did Gove Implement Comparable Outcomes?

Part of the furor over the English GCSE Fiasco last summer was the use of something called 'Comparable Outcomes' - a method through which Ofqual limits grade awarding by requiring that the number of grades given are comparable to the previous year's cohorts or to exams the current cohort took when younger. Much was made … Continue reading Did Gove Implement Comparable Outcomes?

Freedom of Information Request regarding GCSE English Coursework Marks

I recently put in a Freedom of Information Request for the distribution of marks in the 2012 GCSE English Controlled Assessments. I did this because I read the @deevybee blog on the Phonics Test data with some interest and wondered if the GCSE English marks had shown a similar pattern. Unfortunately Ofqual have turned down … Continue reading Freedom of Information Request regarding GCSE English Coursework Marks

Why Gove Is Incorrect On The “Bottom 25%”

Last week Michael Gove suggested that the 'bottom 25%' of students should take a CSE, or at least a qualification that is lower than a GCSE in order to cater for their needs. This 25% figure seemed both arbitrary and a bit rum, so I asked Chris Cook to get me some numbers and having sent … Continue reading Why Gove Is Incorrect On The “Bottom 25%”

Let Us Not Pretend That GCSEs Are Perfect

 Earlier in the week Chris Cook, FT Education Correspondent, asked if anyone had written a logical explanation for the return of CSEs. To my knowledge, he couldn’t find one. However, I suggested that an explanation was possible and I think it is important that we lay out the reasons why the GCSE is problematic and … Continue reading Let Us Not Pretend That GCSEs Are Perfect

A Letter To Future Education Ministers: Could Curriculum Review Look Like This?

Dear Future Education Ministers, Here's an idea.  Why not set up a committee called "The Curriculum Review Panel" [I know it sounds familiar but bear with me].  It would re-write sections of the curriculum each year, or in rolling blocks. For example, for 2 years they could do the curriculum for 9-11 year olds. Then … Continue reading A Letter To Future Education Ministers: Could Curriculum Review Look Like This?