Your views

21st August 2015 at 01:00

Ability grouping has singular problems

In this era of performance data, league tables and data points seem to be the main driver of teaching and learning. As a result, pupils fall victim to an emphasis on exam results. But what about grouping by ability? Is it not just normal classroom practice to assist differentiation?

In my studies, I have researched these questions and discovered a variety of hidden consequences of ability grouping, from self-fulfilling prophecies of expectation to reduced self-esteem, increased bullying and, crucially, no obvious improvement in results. Why do we continue to use such methods when research shows them to be ineffective and costly?

Joshua Bennett

Trainee primary teacher

Short and tweet

To all of our pupils: hope the sun shines on the last day of your holidays. Enjoy and we will see you refreshed and ready to learn on Tuesday.


Welcome back to all our teachers after the summer holidays, especially to our new staff members! See you all tomorrow!


Happy back to school 2015, everyone! I hope your summers were refreshing and that your in-service days are not too dull ;-) #teaching #aaah


Hall has been painted and looking good!


Good luck to all our former P7 pupils as they start S1. We are thinking about you! Looking forward to seeing all our current pupils today.


P6 had lots of fun getting to know each other and drew our own summer selfies.


Teachers must share assessment information with their pupils to highlight strengths, identity gaps in learning and to establish next steps.


Big picture of learning - pupils need to see their learning and where they need to go! High expectations!


Letters for publication in TESS should arrive by 10am Monday. Send your letters, ideally of no more than 250 words in length, including contact address and phone number, by email to Letters may be edited

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today