Unreliable Panda

2nd December 2005 at 00:00
I sidestep market research workers on the High Street but would have been happy to have been one of the junior school heads quizzed by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority as part of its study of how KS1 assessments are used in Year 3.

We are told that only five of the 52 respondents had very little confidence in the reliability of data from feeder schools. I would have made six! I remain irked by the Government's insistence that our school's value be judged primarily on value added to KS1 performance; indeed, the revised "Panda" performance measure is preoccupied with using KS1 assessments as a starting point for judging our value.

As it would appear that most KS1 teachers still rely on the tests to shape their judgements, I would have expected all 52 heads to have pointed out that the style, and perhaps substance, of KS1 and KS2 tests is so different, that the resultant data is questionable; that the KS1 tests can be administered in a whole range of supportive environments, leading to some unhelpful outcomes; and, that moderation of KS1 judgements varies from school to school.

Gary Nott


Crownfield junior school, London Borough of Havering

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