Who wrote the interim frameworks?

Just over a year ago, I was railing against the awful draft performance descriptors that had been produced through the DfE, and urging people to respond to the consultation about them decrying their awfulness.

And we did.

So the DfE/STA went back to the drawing board. I had presumed that they would seek further advice and expertise and that a shift in thinking would occur. What we ended up with was the bizarre and hastily-cobbled-together interim assessment framework. And it seems that this re-hash – with the exception of mathematics – was brought together by virtually the same people.

The DfE have today told me that the KS2 frameworks were put together by a very familiar list of consultants:

The interim frameworks were written by the following  independent drafting teams:
–       Jane Turner and David Shakespeare for Science
–       Mike Ollerton and Nigel Bufton for Mathematics
–       David Hawkes and Heather Rushton for English reading
–       Mavis Humphreys, Margaret Fennell, Alastair West and Jo Shackleton for English writing

The interim frameworks were reviewed and updated by experts for each subject area.
Final drafts were shared with groups of teachers for each subject for comment. These individuals gave support to the process at different points in the drafting timeline. Not one individual was responsible for the final version, and further internal work was undertaken by the Standards and Testing Agency once the external support had concluded.

[Italics are quoted from DfE email response] You’ll notice many of the same names in Tim Taylor’s blog from autumn 2014 about the previous incarnation of descriptors. Tim pointed out then that not one of them would be required to actually use the frameworks in earnest.

Now, we don’t get to know who the teachers were who were invited to comment, nor what their comments might have been. Personally, I have a fair few words I’d like to direct at Ms Humphreys, Ms Fennell, Mr West & Ms Shackleton for the hideous list they’ve ended up with, but perhaps I am being unkind. Perhaps the demands of the DfE/STA were too great for any common sense they shared to overcome.

It’s notable that these groups apparently each met on one day in August. A single day to construct a whole assessment system… after several months of waiting.

The thing is… I’m not even surprised by this nonsense any longer. I just wait for the next instalment each time.


If anybody has any contact with any of the named individuals – especially those blamed for the KS2 Writing interim assessment framework – please do point them this way: I’d love to hear a comment from them!


11 thoughts on “Who wrote the interim frameworks?

  1. Clive taylor 19 January 2016 at 8:13 pm Reply

    Yep. All the hallmarks of this gov. The writers may not have to follow the guidance, but I can guarantee they are close to politics and philosophy of sad shower in power

  2. Kate Cameron 19 January 2016 at 8:37 pm Reply

    Of course it would be interesting to know to what extent the ‘further internal work by the STA’ changed the original drafts…

    Michael, any chance of you blogging on how school are MEASURING progress one term in (I know, technically a year and one term in. If anybody is genuinely that far ahead, they should have some very wise words for the rest of us)?? I would love to hear what other schools are doing and whether anyone is managing to make any sense of it without resorting to spurious summative statements based on the number of ticks in boxes…

    • Michael Tidd 19 January 2016 at 8:42 pm Reply

      As someone who strongly urges against trying to “measure progress” every term, I don’t think I could do it with any value.
      I may, though, get round to writing the “Stop trying to measure progress” blog that swims around my mind from time to time!

      • Kate Cameron 19 January 2016 at 8:44 pm Reply

        Would love to hear it 😉 Think you can convince my governors/ LA adviser/ potential Ofsted inspector???

  3. julietgreen 19 January 2016 at 9:59 pm Reply

    My heart sank today, reading this:

    “Although this is termed ‘moderation’ in fact the process is a ‘verification’ of teacher assessments. It is conducted after submission of data to the DFE. The moderator will look in pupils’ books etc for evidence of independent work from pupils, as well as direct modelling, use of prompts/and/or guided group work for writing to substantiate the teacher assessment, for each of the statements in the interim assessment frameworks. There must also be evidence that the pupil meets ALL of the statements for the preceding standard/s as well.”

    So not only do we have to assess every child against every objective, we have to provide evidence for every child for every preceding objective?

    • Michael Tidd 19 January 2016 at 10:09 pm Reply

      Yup. That’s 62 statements for a typical Y6 child across the subjects. Or 1860 for a class of typical children.

      What workload challenge?!

    • Kate Cameron 20 January 2016 at 6:44 am Reply

      And the moderators have to do all this without discussion with the teacher (meaning teachers have to be ultra explicit with all the evidence they do provide).

      • Rachel 21 January 2016 at 12:14 am Reply

        I think moderation processes differ depending on your LA. Here, in Norfolk, the class teachers accompany their books and have a full and useful role in talking about the evidence with the moderator.

        • Kate Cameron 31 January 2016 at 3:13 pm

          Yes, they did that last year but the guidance has changed this year. Watch the sta webinars

    • Suzanne Holland 31 January 2016 at 2:50 pm Reply

      Where did you read this, I am worrying that I have not received all of the info.

      • julietgreen 31 January 2016 at 5:54 pm Reply

        Latest DfE guidance on assessment and moderation.

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