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!
Tagged: interim assessment framework