The recent changes to the National Curriculum levels will have given schools food for thought in deciding which assessment approach will suit their students’ needs best.
The changes may also have raised questions in local authorities as you consider your responsibilities in managing and analysing attainment targets.
If schools are following a range of approaches, making comparisons between learners at different schools, and supporting children’s progress when they transfer between schools, could be challenging. The role of the virtual school head within local authorities may also be more complex as they will potentially need to familiarise themselves with the details of the different assessment approaches of all those schools educating children in care.
Whilst schools consider their options, I outline below steps local authorities can take to help with effective performance monitoring, whatever your schools decide:
1. Talk the right language for the school you’re liaising with
The more you learn about your schools’ assessment strategies, the easier it will be to communicate more effectively so that you understand exactly how they’re tracking progress and are able to monitor their results more accurately.
2. Bring schools together to create consistency within clusters
Where you know schools are considering the same approaches, facilitate dialogue between them to ensure consistency across the group.
3. Encourage feeder schools to have a common approach
The transition between primary and secondary school, or lower to middle school, can be more successful for the student if feeder schools share the same approach. In this way, the child’s first year at their new school can be as seamless as possible, helping them to achieve their full potential.
4. Build even stronger links between One and SIMS teams in local authorities
Recording attainment data as part of performance monitoring can be more accurate, and provide more meaningful analysis, if a common strategy is agreed between the One and SIMS teams within local authorities. We aim to support this with the planned transfer of attainment data from SIMS to One via B2B:Student.
Whatever approach your schools decide on, PULSE can support you in managing, analysing and sharing attainment targets.
I’d be keen to know if there are any surprises in the survey data illustrated above, or if you have an idea to share on how local authorities can best meet the challenges of the new world of assessment. Please contact us to let me know your thoughts.