No doubt, the reverberations of the exam results ‘fiasco’ we have all faced this summer will go rumbling on for months, if not years. Whilst we hope that our young people will not be affected in the long-term, we equally hope that the establishment will learn from it. Although it’s unlikely we will face quite such unusual circumstances again, we think there are still things we can learn from this as schools and colleges too.
The issue most in the spotlight has been how teachers arrive at a students’ teacher assessed grade: what is considered and how is it then evidenced?
Ensuring that teachers are really giving fair and robust assessments of their students’ progress, data such as ‘currently working at’ and ‘predicted’ grades are crucial. The systematic review of progress to date not only allows learners to keep on target, it also allows staff to give feedback and create targets to ensure continual improvement.
For at least one college, our eTrackr-ILP software has been vital in their approach to fair and robust Teacher Assessed grades. By tracking and monitoring progress at criteria level, tutors can build up a very clear picture of how their group and individual students are achieving.
The progress review process supplements this by actively tracking development to date and therefore is able to predict a likely outcome with a strong degree of confidence. Progress reviews also provide an opportunity to give learners constructive feedback and updated targets at key points during the academic year.
Using eTrackr-ILP therefore ensured not only that students and colleges had a clear picture of likely grades but also provided the evidence to back these up, forming the basis of teacher assessed grades in many institutions.
Dr Sam Parrett OBE, Group Principal and CEO of London & South East Education Group, is pleased that the Government made the decision to accept Teacher Assessed grades.
“As an institution, many of our students have been affected by this challenging situation. We are pleased that the hard work and rigour our staff have put into assigning fair grades – which reflect the learner’s ability – has been recognised. We have clear, evidence-based assessments which our students, their parents and their future employers can have every confidence in.”
Although we have learnt that students will not be able to appeal their teacher assessed grades, that clearly doesn’t mean any of us should skimp on the process of allocating those grades fairly. Using software like eTrackr-ILP that can provide a criteria-based record of progress is surely going to help us all feel confident in the results.