Yesterday the educational news story of the day was a drop in standards at KS2. Apparently, the results dropped by about 1% since last year.
Let’s all panic then. The teachers have got worse at teaching. The pupils are less clever than last year. The sun is going to fall out of the sky.
Or maybe the tests were just different. The marking more rigorous, or just standardised differently.
The analysis of educational results is not simple and there isn’t a consensus amongst educational statisticians, apart from that it keeps them in careers.
So when the consultation document produced a page of statistics purporting to show it was ‘obvious’ that standards were worse than other ‘comparable’ areas, we should all be deeply sceptical.
And when the consultation document indicates that it is obvious that our schools structure is responsible for this, be highly suspicious.
Beware simple solutions to complex problems.
The reality is that all schools have unique problems which can be tackled mainly by the provision of resources and leadership. Creative solutions exist for nearly all educational problems but this requires transformational leadership and resources targeted at real need. Our educational bureaucrats obviously do not possess this.