Poor Course Of Action

30th March 2007 at 01:00
I buy TES Cymru fairly regularly but have not noticed any articles about vocational qualifications and their contribution to statistical RE2 data.

By not including these statistics, teachers in Wales have the pressure of finding the best course for our pupils without recognition.

We are reluctant to offer exciting new courses because there seems little point, especially if your published GCSE grade A*-C figures make it look like you are a failing school. We would be offering the best courses to fewer pupils each year as parents went for schools with higher A*-Cs.

Although the Assembly has said a consultation of RE2 data for schools would take this into account, this has now been delayed.

A promise of consultation gives little to those Year 9 pupils who are eager to follow the new courses next year. Even if the data is changed to include recognition of these courses, it is unlikely to be in place by the time we need to start planning for them.

I don't believe we should plan our curriculum on what happens in England.

But when schools there are "rewarded" for offering the best qualifications and schools in Wales are disadvantaged by offering the same, something has to change.

I fear there are schools delivering courses such as DiDA and the OCR Nationals without realising how it may affect their statistics. I hope everyone will get involved in the consultation when it does start.

Stewart JJ Davies,

ICT co-ordinator and subject leader

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