A cautionary tale

12th May 2000 at 01:00
I'm well-known in the many schools I visit and often sit in the staff room for coffee chatting to teachers. Soon after the threshold payments documents hit the school, one teacher, (who is a certainty for the payment) jokingly said: "Well, you've got it made now! How much are you charging teachers to produce their evidence for pupil progress? You can do it better than anyone, its got to be worth something."

"Oh my God," I thought, "they are right, I can. I do it all the time and could manipulate and present most data in a beneficial manner for most."

"And if I can, so can others!" My views on threshold payments are no longer pertinent. They are controversial, but they are here and with us for the foreseeable future. I may be fortunate to be in this position, and yes I do earn a living working with schools in assessment data management. However, I will never, ever be party to charging individual teachers for this service. I deserately hope that no teacher would feel it necessary to do so. If they are unable to produce the evidence themselves, perhaps they should develop these skills and apply for the threshold payment in future.

I have gained an expertise of assessment data management in many schools and although these schools are perhaps further along than most, they are only just starting. The teachers here have been encouraged to access their pupils' assessment data for their teaching and so will be at ease to use it for their threshold application. It appears a daunting task to get started, but everyone who has done so has found it to be very rewarding. The sooner you start the better.

I should like to offer help to every teacher, through our Magic Markbook where we will offer our full support and respond to requests as best as we can.

Let's work together to give every school its full compliment of teachers receiving the payment.


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