October 5, 2009
PACE gave warning about the use of the CCEA Pupil Profile and Incas tests on December 18, 2008
It has proven to be one of the most read posts on the site and has recently undergone a renewed level of interest.
Those visitors to the NICurriculum site attempting to open links to documents cited are in for a major disappointment. They will be met with 404 page not found messages. This is CCEA’s answer to nosy parents.
September 22, 2009
It seems that either the Education Minister is a poor communicator or that principals are ignoring not only her advice but her legislation.
The following was sent to parents of pupils of Sperrin Integrated College in Magherafelt in September 2009. It is little wonder confusion and chaos denominates the quest for accurate information for parents in the post-primary transfer arena when the principal, Mr Rowan, continues to make reference to the Pupil Profile instead of the Annual Report to Parents. Perhaps the Minister will have a word.
Education (Pupil Records and Reporting) Regulations (NI) 2009
September 9, 2009
While the local media is stirring up a virtual frensy on the arrangements for post-primary transfer and testing arrangements, the real agenda is revealed in The Guardian which carried a story on the cockroach-like persistence of the Pupil Profile.
The Parental Alliance for Choice in Education have warned of the intention to impose this social selection instrument upon parents. Now the principal of one of the most prominent Catholic grammar schools admits the Pupil Profile is the intended solution for all grammar schools in Northern Ireland.
“However, like all grammar schools in Northern Ireland, Lumen Christi would have preferred to avoid the use of an entrance test altogether, and had lobbied the minister for education to allow schools to use ongoing primary school assessments and pupil profiles for the purpose of academic selection, thus avoiding the need for an entrance examination.”
Lumen Christi Grammar School principal, Patrick O’Doherty
The Guardian, Tuesday 8 September 2009
Parents want tests, says Ofsted
Parents needed “some clarity” about how their children were doing before they started at secondary school, Christine Gilbert told a committee of MPs.
She also stressed the need for school report cards, being introduced by the government, to be clear and simple.
Giving evidence to the cross-party schools committee on Wednesday, Ms Gilbert said KS2 results marked the end of an important phase of education.
Perhaps Ms Gilbert should educate Caitriona Ruane on listening to parents, particularly on their feedback on the flawed Pupil Profiles. Meanwhile in her chaos ridden Department of Education in Northern Ireland testing of any type is denigrated by the ideological Minister of Education.
May 5, 2009
While the chaos and confusion continues on the thorny matter of testing for entry to grammar schools, parents may want to remind themselves of Sir Kenneth Bloomfield’s favoured option for selecting buys for the Royal Belfast Academical Institution.
January 22, 2009
Not only has Caitriona Ruane failed to deliver on promises to end academic selection for grammar schools but it seems that the minister has failed on basic numeracy attainments. In the Hansard record of the Northern Ireland Assembly of Monday 19th January the minister answered a question on the cost of the failed pupil profile project. She claimed the total cost to be £180,000
Mr Gallagher: In the Minister’s response to an
earlier supplementary question, she referred to a money
shortage in the Department. Recently, she announced
the end of the pupil-profile initiative. Surely when she
took that decision, she calculated how much money
her Department had spent on the initiative. Will she
tell the Assembly how much money the pupil-profile
initiative has cost her Department?
The Minister of Education: there is a presumption
in the question that the Department has wasted money.
No money has been wasted. the approach to annual
reporting to parents has not changed significantly.
In 2007-08, 2008-09 and the current financial year
to date, the cost of training and support of teachers on
reporting to parents via a standardised pupil-profile
format has been £180,000. I am sure that all Members
understand the importance of reporting to parents,
which was emphasised during all the pilots and
consultations that were carried out. Are Members
suggesting that teachers should not report to parents?
the Department has listened to educationalists and
parents. It has decided that instead of “pupil profiles”,
they will now be called “annual reports to parents”.
PACE had sought information from CCEA, the organisation responsible for the Pupil Profile, on costs in a Freedom of Information request. The information does not match the Education Minister’s statement to the Assembly.
Only one party can be correct. The Minister of Education or one of the constituent organisations of the new Education and Skills Authority (ESA).
Even with generous rounding of Caitriona Ruane’s figure up to £200,000 that leaves £1,800,000 unaccounted for.
Click link to see CCEA FOI figures CCEA FOI Figures for Pupil Profile
Now add up the figures and get £180,000. That’s the revised curriculum in action.
December 28, 2008
The Governing Bodies Association of Northern Ireland’s voluntary grammar schools are an organisation in disarray.meltdown.
The following extracts have been taken from notes of a meeting of the GBA Executive held on 18th January 2008. Events subsequent to that meeting which raise questions about the resolve of the Governors of Grammar Schools to preserve academic selection at 11 as a criteria for admission. The Pupil Profile, much loved by the GBA and Wilfred Mulryne, has met the outcome predicted by PACE years ago. Yet Mulryne continues to exact influence on the future of grammar schools in much the same way he did on the revised curriculum, the early years enriched curriculum and the Pupil Profile.
2009 may be the year to kiss the Mulryne influence goodbye.
RHL: He suggested it was pointless to try to cobble up some form of words or find some phrase that would enable the pretence to be maintained that there was consensus or unanimity when patently that was not the case. He also suggested that it could be significant that in recent weeks and months the words “pupil profile” appeared to have been deleted from the vocabulary of the Minister and her senior officials. Was it not fatuous to think that the Dept could be persuaded to modify the pupil profile to such an extent that it would become a reliable indicator of a pupil’s abilities? In any event why should the GBA continue to believe that the pupil profile could be used as an instrument to match pupils to schools when the Dept itself declared that it was unsuitable for this purpose?
Sir Kenneth Bloomfield He acknowledged that it was extremely difficult to reach a consensus but there was a real danger of accepting what was simply the lowest common denominator. The GBA’s previous policy document with its requirement for a genuinely robust pupil profile and provision for a receiving school not to accept any pupil clearly unsuited to the curriculum on offer were the very minimum acceptable criteria.
Dr Mulryne replied that this was not exactly the case. It should be remembered that initially it was proposed that the receiving school would not be entitled to see the pupil profile but this position had been changed as a result of representations by the GBA. Moreover the pupil profile as now envisaged would contain objective assessments of a pupil’s abilities, eg reading age.
Fr Patrick Delargy agreed. They should leave the Dept with what had already been submitted last year. No response had been forthcoming to that document. To forward another now might be seen as a watering down of the GBA’s position. At this stage the new paper should be considered as a basis for healthy internal debate.
The suggestions of Sir Anthony and Fr Delargy were agreed.
Executive officers are to meet Dept officials on Tue Jan 22 at 8-30am.
There can be no doubt for parents that the subsequent proposals from Mulryne, Young and Donaghy were hatched well in advanced by the core architects of the GBA retreat away from academic selection.
A footnote on “lobbying activity” reveals some possible explanation of the DUP mirroring the GBA position.
At the start of the meeting Sir Gerry Loughran reported on a meeting which he and others had had with Mr Dominic Bradley of the SDLP. He said Mr Bradley had been “very open to our thinking” but was a supporter of the proposed ESA. It was essential to pursue other MLA’s to get the GBA’s position established in their thinking. Efforts were now being made to die down appointments with Mr Sammy Wilson and Mr Basil McCrea
December 18, 2008
Parents should closely examine Caitriona’s Pupil Profile/Incas Assessment reports.
Since principals and teachers have been fully aware of this for quite some time it is remarkable that they provided no warning to parents. Why the silence?
Why did the media reports from the BBC education correspondent cover only the principals’ comments. Indeed the Twinbrook principal admitted ignoring the comment bank provided. It probably means she could have staff work from home rather than in the classroom.
In case Santa doesn’t bring you a better read.
Saving the best for last.
Exactly what is a developed ability and how is it measured? What is the Education Minister’s attitude?