Work­load ex­plo­sion

TES (Times Education Supplement) - - FEEDBACK -

An­other grenade in the new non-exam as­sess­ments (NEAS) is about to ex­plode. An­other huge amount of work has been sneaked into ever-suf­fer­ing heads of de­part­ments’ work­load by the Joint Coun­cil for Qual­i­fi­ca­tions with­out any con­sul­ta­tion. In Septem­ber, the NEAS start in many sub­jects. Buried on page 16 of JCQ’S guide­lines (bit.ly/jc­qin­struct) is a para­graph ex­plain­ing that schools must now pro­vide their own NEA ap­peals pro­ce­dure, car­ried out by an in­de­pen­dent per­son. This has a num­ber of crit­i­cal im­pli­ca­tions. Hods and schools now must en­sure they com­plete the NEAS well be­fore marks are sub­mit­ted to exam boards on 31 March 2018 to al­low for ap­peals. This dead­line was al­ready tight, and now it’s even tighter. As these ap­peals have to be car­ried out by an in­de­pen­dent per­son, small de­part­ments will have to try and re­cruit out­side of school. Exam boards have stip­u­lated that NEA ques­tions must not leave the class­room, so how will this work? Apart from the dif­fi­culty of find­ing some­one to do the ap­peals, there will be a fi­nan­cial cost. Have schools al­lowed for the cost of pay­ing for ap­peals in their over­stretched bud­gets? And then there is the ex­tra work of hav­ing to put to­gether a fair ap­peals pro­ce­dure and in­form­ing par­ents about it. JCQ needs to re­move this re­quire­ment im­me­di­ately and apol­o­gise. Com­puter science teacher, Coventry

David Cooper

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