Sunday, 10 May 2009

When deadlines were deadlines

At the moment I am in the chase and capture phase. In an ideal world I would set a deadline for coursework and then anyone who did not meet it would score nought or lose 10% or something but that it is not how it works. Instead I find myself chasing around the school trying to find people who haven't handed some of it in. The reason is that if my results aren't good enough then I might be "supported" in lessons potentially after a while being considered incompetent and asked to leave. The head is under similar pressure to ensure that results are good so that Ofsted don't drop in.

The problem comes from the question "How well should a student do?"

Each student is given a target that takes a number of factors into account and this is the GCSE grade they have to reach. They are however wildly inconsistent and inaccurate so sometimes it is easy as the kid is far cleverer than their target and sometimes it is impossible.

It also seems to assume that students are going to logically progress at exactly the same rate and befall no tragedy. Famous examples includes the student who was arrested and spent 4 months on remand before coming back to lessons, the student who had glandular fever for a 6 months and the student who failed to turn up to the exam. I am not sure what I am supposed to do in these cases and I was fortunate that the others in the class made up for them.

So next week I will spend a couple of days chasing students for missing work. Can't we just assume I tried my hardest and students fully deserve whatever grade they got. God knows how they survive out in the big bad world.

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