A Possible Qualifications Framework for England?
25/02/13 16:51 Filed in: Education
Can a framework be created that removes National Curriculum Levels and GCSE / A Level Grades, to create one seamless continuum from Reception children through to University ages, which is broader and better than the system we currently have?!
I wasn't a fan of the narrowness of the EBC and hence joined together with @HeadsRoundTable to help create something worthy of our aspiration to be a world leading education system.
When we met as a group in York in January we spent quite some time as a sub group discussing Curriculum frameworks and in particular the excellent first draft from Tom Sherrington @HeadGuruTeacher. Here is a copy of what Tom proposed.
Download a PDF Copy here.
The group was unanimous that this could be built upon to create a possible model. During discussion of the whole group, the idea of Music Grades being an excellent model for progressive assessment was put forward and I have to say I/we were quite taken with the idea that this could be combined with Tom's model to create something possible, which moved on from where we have been 'stuck' as an English examination system seemingly forever.
Having led and mapped Curriculum for many a year I volunteered to have a go at turning discussion into a further draft of what a holistic qualifications framework could look like in readiness for the group to meet again on March 1st. It has always niggled that we have National Curriculum 'Levels' in numeric form, which then morph confusingly into Grades at GCSE and A Level. So, I've had a play and created a draft which I've included below.
Download a PDF Copy here.
I've tried to fit Tom's model into a whole school holistic education picture with a few added tweaks of my own. I'm sure that somewhere between our drafts there is something that could work and be developed from here. I played with the Grade boundaries and certification threshold combinations for a while and eventually decided that at the moment it isn't too important in draft form. They can easily be tweaked for the aspirational but achievable thresholds to have real worth. I've tried to include as much commentary within the document as possible and I hope it makes sense. I tried to ensure that there was an enforced broad foundation, building towards aspirations higher than we currently have. I also wanted it to be fully inclusive at the same time as being able to differentiate our most able students and be fully flexible with all subjects having equal worth without any historic counter productive distinction between Academic'/Vocational. I wasn't keen to have a Tech. Bacc., Arts Bacc., etc. since I think this de-values the overall 'Brand' and again, perpetuates the Academic/Vocational tug of war that has blighted UK education for so many years. Only a small percentage of students moving to University would be capable of achieving the Pre U Baccalaureate, this being staged at a very high level.
To ensure 'space' for both inclusion and challenge, I incrementally made the points range for each Grade larger, giving a slight exponential/logarithmic increase pattern. This allows early Grades to be quite basic but on the same continuum.
A student would achieve say an Intermediate Baccalaureate with a spiky profile of subjects at different Grades and perhaps be able to say that they have an Intermediate Baccalaureate pass with 8200 points and then go on to list the Grades achieved in each subject. The Baccalaureate would not be awarded without the project and life group subjects. There would in essence be no ceiling upon the points score apart from for the very very occasional young genius. So, what do you think?