Promoted by David Beale, 36 Pleasant View, Withnell, Chorley PR6 8SE on behalf of Martin Powell-Davies of TUSC.

Sunday 8 June 2014

PRP in schools: unjust and irrational

Among the many supportive messages that I have received this weekend, I received the story below from a primary teacher in the Midlands.

In a week when the press have been erroneously trying to claim that many teachers support performance-pay, it speaks volumes about the injustice and irrationality of trying to apply PRP in schools :

"On Wednesday evening our SLT met with middle leaders to explain a new method of carrying out observations they had devised. They thought it was similar to the OFSTED model and would help with PM judgements. The observations are taking place this week! We've only had two this year, to be fair. And we've had OFSTED, we got a good.

The middle leaders spoke to their year teams on Thursday and tried to explain the new system although they hadn't got a handle on it themselves. Basically most of the observation would not be on the teaching and learning. It would be on progress over time. So they would look at generally how the lesson went but it wasn't the main focus. It wouldn't have to be all singing, all dancing or outstanding. They would look to see progress in books and would look at your current group's data instead. These were to be maths observations. 

There was a glaring flaw in all this. We have ability groups for maths which change regularly. The group I have now are the newly arrived or children that are SEND and hardest to shift. Those that have made the best progress have moved on. It's the same for the other groups except the top one. I went to see SLT and explained this. 

They had begun to see the flaw. Then the School Advisor turned up (an NUT member). She basically told the Head that the whole idea was ridiculous. We are now going back to our usual method.

But it still begs the question. How on earth do you prove who has made the difference in learning over the year for PRP? With changing groups, interventions and teams of teachers and TAs you simply can't.

Of course we know that, but Heads are going to come with equally mad ideas".

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