June 24, 2011
Why have the ETI, the Schools Inspctorate, been called in at short notice to review Cambridge House and hastily place a grammar school in special measures? Check the ETI website http://www.etini.gov.uk/ and determine how often the ETI revisit schools – it is usually many years between visits. It has been suggested to PACE by well-placed sources that the DENI were contacted by a disgruntled employee at Cambridge House Grammar School. The Inspection visit was a consequence. Now consider the aim of Sinn Fein Minister, John O’Dowd to end grammar schools in Northern Ireland and the difficulties that Ronnie Hazzard, principal of Ballymena Academy, has incurred over the integrity of the GL Assessment exam used to determine admissions to Ballymena Academy, Slemish College and St Louis Grammar School. Only Cambridge House uses the AQE test and has remained unsoiled by the use of a suspect test. Minister O’Dowd is currenly conducting an investigation into the GL Assessment and PPTC debacle.
For those with an eye for detail notice that the BBC Northern Ireland Report on Cambridge House Grammar school is dated June 17th 2011. The ETI published the Inspection Report for public consumption on the 22nd June 2011 robbing parents and the Ballymena public of an opportunity to immediately respond to the BBC story. Parents may suspect that the Northern Ireland media are a mere extension of the DENI’s publicity/propaganda machine.
September 2, 2010
Evidence of the inability of the Department of Education, Northern Ireland to achieve real improvement in numeracy and literacy outcomes comes via the press release by the DENI’s Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI).
The final section of the release states:
“A key element in any self-evaluative process is the quality of evidence on which the evaluations are based. A range of sources can be used in this process, including first-hand observation of learning and teaching and a thorough examination of the assessment data that the school or organisation collates. The more rigorous and honest such evaluations are, the more useful will be the outcomes, and these should be used as the basis for securing more effective teaching and learning and in raising the standards achieved by learners.”
Perhaps Stanley Goudie has missed news of the ongoing investigation by Ofqual of CCEA’s failure on A-level Chemistry results. The evidence quality is very high of CCEA’s failure in a quantative measure. 151 pupils were given the wrong results.
What has not be addressed by the local media is the obvious question; “How can wrong marks be given for a multiple choice question paper?
Answer: A software/programming failure.
Does CCEA have other recent evidence of such failure? Yes.
- the Incas Pupil Profile from the CEM at Durham University spat out inaccurate results last year resulting in ministerial, CCEA and University of Durham apologies and investigations. The result: a further commitment to Incas.
Instead of rejecting this flawed instrument the DENI have further cemented its use. One of the major proponents of Incas is Prof John Gardner of QUB. His Assessment for Learning group are advocates of the ETI self assessment programme. Professor Gardner was also the man behind the attacks on the 11-plus transfer test. His campaign and advice to the DENI have simply resulted in a deregulation of the tests.
When will the politicians actually hold to account the educationalists whose conduct of education reform in Northern Ireland is replete with flaws and failure?
Since the Enriched and Revised Curriculum projects had their genesis in Northern Ireland it is striking that the N.I. Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) have missed an important opportunity to improve their public confidence level.
It has taken OFSTED, their equivalent in England, to raise public concern about the damaging effects of curricular changes.
Inspectors warned that the changes had prompted confusion in some schools.
A “common feature” of less successful schools was that teachers were “left to interpret the curriculum as they saw fit”, meaning it “lacked coherence”.
Some 24 out of 84 schools introduced “integrated courses” covering all humanities subjects. A similar approach was taken in the teaching of citizenships and PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education).
But Ofsted said inspectors “identified emerging problems with the courses”.
“These included the loss of subject content and subject skills development, lack of continuity from primary school, lack of rigour and challenge, uneven quality of teaching and artificial ‘links’ or themes”, said the report.
However in Northern Ireland evangelist educationalists who spend more time appearing on the media than in the classroom peddling claptrap suggest all is well.
Parents may disagree but there is no refund for a failed education.
See will simply declare it so.
Mr A McQuillan (AQW 7094/09) asked the Minister of Education if she can give assurances that the Education and Skills Authority will not interfere with the running of successful schools.
Caitriona Ruane, Minister of Education:
The Education Bill will provide a new administrative structure to support the raising of standards in all schools. It is my intention that the Education and Skills Authority (the ESA) will assist schools in achieving significant improvement in the achievements of all pupils. The arrangements being established will see local area support teams working with schools, reflecting the individual needs of each school. It would not be appropriate to characterise this relationship as one of interfering.
I will also ensure that my policy of Every School a Good School will mean that all schools will be seen as successful.
Parents will feel so much better knowing that Caitriona and the ETI refuse to name any failing schools. The hugh number of pupils leaving second level education without qualifications in numeracy and literacy is either of no concern to the Minister or she is talking more nonsense. The fact that English and Maths are no longer compulsory subjects at GCSE makes her promise to improve results impossible to measure. If this lack of willingness to be measured seems familiar then her vitriolic attack on the unregulated tests in numeracy and literacy put her real objective into perspective; the destruction of grammar schools.