Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

What Keeps Me Awake at Night - Data's Coming out of My Ears - but It's Useless

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

What Keeps Me Awake at Night - Data's Coming out of My Ears - but It's Useless

Article excerpt

How much data is too much? One spreadsheet? Two spreadsheets? Three spreadsheets with a set of progress ladders thrown in?

I wonder how the amount of data teachers are expected to produce relates to the type of school they work in, and if school leaders are realistically thinking about the usefulness of this data in contrast to its effect on staff morale.

I've been teaching for five years at a school that, miraculously, has not been closed during the best part of 10 years of failure. Old-timers sometimes mention the "good" old days, but all I've ever known is the constant threat of someone pulling the plug on the school's existence. This threat has resulted in the need to prove that "we know our children" through numbers and letters and colours on grids.

This need has been used by the leadership team to justify a change from termly assessments to half-termly and to harvest enough data to sink a cruise liner.

I find the whole process incredibly stressful, particularly after I've been in school from 7. …

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