Recently, I’ve been having conversations about how some schools have created a culture where young people don’t take exercise books home and can arrive for an examination with nothing but their uniform as all equipment is provided. This is bonkers and turning out young people who are not ready for the next stage. Personally, I never give pens out and I believe that high expectations and robust routines within the first five minutes of lessons are essential. Raising expectations is vital. It’s like the argument that the target grades / levels are ‘too high’ opposed to having a belief and confidence that young people will meet the bar. I experienced this myself where the department I led was accused of making up data, where all we did was teach differently. The external examination result validated our approach.