March 24, 2012
The Belfast Telegraph announced Friday March 23rd, 2012 that Gavin Boyd was “good value” for taxpayers’ money.
A meeting of the Chief Executives of ESA, CCEA, the Curriculum and Exams body and the BELB, the Belfast Education & Library Board would effectively mean Gavin Boyd in a mirrored room talking to himself. Instead of outrage at the very idea of such nonsense, the Belfast Telegraph promote such extravagance in a time of austerity as “good value”. Perhaps they may wish to pick up the tab for this inefficiency. No matter how Gavin Boyd slices up the bacon on this porker the most he dedicate to each job is one third of full-time – an indictment which even our political representatives have been forced to address. Will the Belfast Telegraph now apologise to all those politicians they tried holding to account?
March 9, 2012
Absent a willingness or ability of the Detail.tv and the Belfast Telegraph to address the DENI data on pupil performance at GCSE and A-Level, Paceni offers a warning to the DENI and some reassurance to parents.
League tables and their limitations in the comparison of institutional performance such as schools is not a new issue. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2983325?uid=3738032&uid=2134&uid=372782467&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=3&uid=60&uid=372782457&sid=47698738446577
Martin McGuinness banned such tables when he was Education Minister in the 1990s but his party colleague John O’Dowd has reintroduced them via the media to persist in the attack on academic selection and grammar schools. However no reference has been made by any education correspondent to an important paper published in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society in 1996.
John O’Dowd and the DENI have a statistics and research branch http://www.deni.gov.uk/index/32-statisticsandresearch_pg.htm but it would seem that they ignore warnings provided by those who cautioned against the inappropriate use of data to compare schools. The reason is quite clear. Mr O’Dowd is stepping up his attack on grammar schools for political and ideological purposes. Unfortunately other political representatives are colluding with O’Dowd in order to panic and decieve parents. If the DENI have a response to Harvey Goldstein and david Spiegelhalter the world would be delighted to examine it.
March 3, 2012
For parents who want to know more about the background to concerns about Gavin Boyd’s triple-jobbing influence the following article published by The Belfast Telegraph on 22nd December 2008 is worth reading. Note also the two published comments that follow the article.
READ THIS BELFAST TELEGRAPH OPINION
November 15, 2011
In February 2009 Stanley Poots was highlighted by PACE for his prominent anti-academic selection views which he made public in an article in the Belfast Telegraph. It may be worthwhile for parents to review the comments below the article since many have expressed increasing concern over the teaching of numeracy and literacy in primary schools. Parents also raise concerns about creeping social selection (parents professional standing and income influencing the teaching professionals re: recommendations on post-primary destination) replacing valid and reliable academic selection.
June 30, 2011
So PACE will share a few names and faces to make accountable those who sat on CCEA’s remuneration committee in May 2008 and ignored requirements to have the Department of Education review and approve payments made to the “Top Management Team”
The latest mistake by an examinations body, AQA, containedin the GCSE Mathematics Unit 2 Foundation paper has resulted in the clearest evidence yet that the Regulator for Qualifications in Northern Ireland is not fit for purpose. The Regulator had committed to protect pupils from further mistakes after a flood of errors in this year’s examinations. Roger McCune is the Regulator of Qualifications, he is employed by and works for CCEA.
CCEA are the Examinations body for Northern Ireland they set, SELL and mark examination papers. Put simply, Roger McCune and CCEA regulate themselves.
This may explain the persistent problem over lack of accountability when examination paper mistakes are uncovered. It is little wonder that the Chief execuive of CCEA, Gavin Boyd, appears teflon-coated when embarrassing stories appear. A simple template-like statement from the Regulator/CCEA employee appears to solve his problem
” I am asking for detail on the number of candidates affected in Northern Ireland and will be seeking reassurances from the awarding bodies that no candidate is disadvantaged by these incidents.”
This is CCEA’s idea of “rewarding learning” Failed quality standards in producing examinations and failed accountability standards in regulation. Why would the public have any confidence in CCEA?
What Gavin Boyd, Roger McCune or the education correspondents of the local papers fail to point out is that the CCEA and the Regulator are two sides of the same coin. Reassurances from either or both are meaningless and valueless. Neither party will criticize the other and often refer to the other in abstract terms. Read the Belfast Telegraph story P16 22/6/2011 http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/education/fury-at-northern-ireland-maths-exam-blunder-16014679.html
Caught like deer in the headlights Northern Ireland’s examination body, CCEA have had to admit to blunders in the 2011 exam cycle after first denying them. PACE had contacted the Belfast Telegraph about errors in the A-level maths paper after contact from teachers concerned about a mistake in the further maths paper. When the Belfast Telegraph contacted CCEA they denied any problems with their exams but pointed the reporter to an English exam board.
See the BBC story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-13714383 No doubt the Belfast Telegraph and Ofqual may have more to say on the matter.
May 28, 2011
The PACE NI site has been subject to sustained cyber attacks over the past three months but is now in a position to return to the blogging arena. We apologize for the loss of service and wish to thank all those who have offered or have provided support and practical assistance to combat the efforts of others to prevent the flow of commentary.
Readers can expect to see a series of posts on the pre and post election landscape with an emphasis on education matters.
For those subscribers devourng the revelations on CCEA’s spending then the next few weeks will provide worthwhile reward for visiting the PACE NI site.
February 8, 2011
November 14, 2010
The Belfast Telegraph, www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk carried the headline; Keep out of it on the eve of this year’s AQE transfer test. The anti-academic selection SDLP’s education spokesman Dominic Bradley told Kathryn Torney that responses to a secret paper comprised by the self-styled Educationalists Advisory Panel including Michele Marken and Paul Hewitt were out of bounds.
“That is not any of your business. That is private business within the parties”
Dominic Bradley SDLP education spokesman
The attitute of both the newspaper and the politicians to post-primary transfer highlights their basic misunderstanding of the principle of academic selection for grammar schools.
- It is not a matter for consensus. There can be no compromise without betrayal of the principle. A grammar school without academic selection is not a grammar school. In England the Academies programme initiated by Labour and carried on by the Conservatives/Liberal Democrats has become the substitute for comprehensive schools. Some grammar school headteachers have, in persuit of more money, sought to transform their schools to academies. An academy has an all-ability, non-academically selective intake therefore the school becomes a comprehensive. Retaining the name grammar in the school’s name exacerbates the deception.
- Gerald Warner has highlighted Michael Gove’s deception on the academies, it is a pity that none of the educationalists in Northern Ireland have pointed out the danger in a part of the UK where 42% of pupils attend grammar schools. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/geraldwarner/100049415/michael-goves-potemkin-academies-and-free-schools-are-bogus-evasions-of-real-education-reform/
Michael Gove has made no secret of his delusional ploy
”to provide a grammar education without the selection”
Northern Ireland is now holding its breath for the first Montessori and Steiner schools to appear on the Shankill Road. Dawn Purvis MLA will be cutting the ribbon if her former colleagues in the PUP/UVF allow.