Last Thursday at the Sharnbrook Consultation meeting, Brian Glover, the Chief Education Officer and Chris Hilliard’s assistant, said that data from Suffolk when both school systems existed side-by-side showed that two-tier produces better results than three-tier.
This is shameful.
The data in the Suffolk County Council report have been criticised by three sets of researchers and this was pointed out to Brian (eventually) by SMS after waiting patiently and stretching our legs (these meetings do go on a bit when officers insist on repeating themselves slowly as if talking to the retarded).
Jenny Symonds (Cambridge University) showed that, by reanalysing the Suffolk data using CVA (contextually value-added – basically how much pupils improve but also taking into account how good they are when they start), three-tier can actually be shown to produce better results than two-tier.
Professor Richard Webber (University College London) showed that school performance is highly linked to the socioeconomic status of the pupils it takes, and that if a reanalysis of Suffolk is undertaken, then no significant difference between the systems is shown, and furthermore the best school in Suffolk was demonstrated to be three-tier.
Professor Peter Tymms (Durham University) who was one of the Suffolk Report’s own referees (!) showed clearly that results are driven by pupils themselves first (their socio-economic and home background) and the quality of teaching second; the effect of local authorities was very weak – in fact his research could be used to support getting rid of educational bureaucrats and giving more money to schools !
Brian’s response was – you can show anything with statistics.
Yes Brian, but we don’t want to change a whole school system. The onus is on you to provide the evidence for change. You haven’t.
See you at Mark Rutherford tonight – there are some very worried parents coming to see you.