Grade 2 or bust! Perverse incentives

docendo discimus

Two things that the DfE have got right – there may be others – are two of the changes to school accountability systems. The Wolf report quite rightly identified the perverse incentives in accountability measures that led to schools pushing pupils into BTECs and other vocational qualifications. And there is no doubt that the 5 A*-C measures and floor targets focused too great a proportion of a schools attention on the C/D borderline. Now, I’m not suggesting all is rosy in this particular garden – some pupils benefit from doing high-quality vocational qualifications; I’m not convinced that the EBacc is anything other than Gove’s tendency to assume that what worked for him is best for everyone else as well; the changes were handled clumsily at times; and it’s not clear whether long-term planning is anything more than an oxymoron under the current regime, but perverse the previous incentives were, and…

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