November 2010
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History teacher tells all-improve results?, change exam-simple

 Yesterday an anonymous history teacher voiced the view of thousands of you when he spoke to 5 Live’s reporter Adrian Goldberg.

He said: “We have lots of pressures in terms of league tables and Ofsted [the schools' inspector] all pushing us to achieve grades – and if we don’t, you can find yourself losing your job. If results don’t improve you get sacked.

“I know good teachers whose lives have been destroyed by the current system, who have lost their jobs – people crash and burn.”

The teacher explained that when he took over as head of department, he asked colleagues how he could improve on a relatively low pass rate of 27%, and was told to simply change exam boards.Within two years he says the pass rate at his school more than doubled despite the fact that the social class of pupils and the teaching methods employed in the school had scarcely changed. He said: “For me it took the pressure off, and in terms of student grades it went from 27% to 63% over a two year period. We had the same teachers using the same resources so not much changed – except the exam board.” This teacher, speaking anonymously, also suggested that they are “tipped the wink” by some exam boards so that they know which subjects to expect – allowing them to coach their students accordingly.

Recognise this situation? How long can be allowed to continue??

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