Wednesday, 1 April 2009

School Grading Systems

Ever since I started TYP I have been very outspoken on school league tables. In my opinion you can’t judge the successfulness of a school based on exam results because it means some schools will never have the chance t finish top. Should schools be judge more on the progress of their students rather than the final grade they get? And shouldn’t schools be judge on the number of their students that go on to gain skilled jobs as surely school is just suppose to be a building block to make a pupil a well rounded member of society who can get a job doing something they love doing.

In the news this week has been a new school grading system which has been implemented in America which sees schools getting graded from A – E which is measured not just against exam results but behaviour and progress as well. This gives the chance for schools from deprived areas a chance of being a top school which they probably wouldn’t have under our league table system.

Now no system is perfect and this has its floors as well because if you are a top school with pupils consistently getting a high grade you aren’t going to get top marks for progress. However I do feel for pupils to behave better in schools they have to have a sense of pride in their school and this system lets the pupils who go to schools in run down areas the chance to be proud of their school.

The news is now that they are heading our way to the UK which has been met with positive and negative feedback. Myself personally I think grades speak form themselves so parents that would have sent to their kids to a school that achieve top exam grades are going to continue to send their children there but this system can bring the feel good factor to some schools and give them something achievable to work towards. Most schools know that they will never be top of the league table so may think why bother but with this system every school has the chance to earn an A.

Like I said at the top I can’t wait until the day we see league tables based on pupils life outside of school but I think this is a step in the right direction. I think schools need to start putting more emphasis on the characters they are developing in their pupils and what contribution they will make to society, not just worry about grades. I think both systems can and should be used in the UK as I think it help parents make informed choices of where their children go to school and the parents will be able to ascertain quicker the sort of standard at their child’s school.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"
”Shaking up the Youth of Today”

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