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Stop using pupil-tracking data to keep tabs on teachers

The assessment information that staff collect should be used solely to support learning, says James Pembroke

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A group of elite middle-distance runners gathers at an athletics stadium, hopeful of gaining a spot in the national squad. The coach issues them with the challenge: “Run 1,500m in under 3 minutes 45 seconds and you’re in.”

“Now? Here?” asks a runner. “No,” replies the coach, “do it whenever you like. Just time yourself and email me the result when you’re done. And make sure it’s under 3 minutes 45 seconds.”

This, of course, would never happen. Yet teachers are regularly held to account on the basis of their own assessment data. In what other industry would employees’ performance be assessed ...

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