Schools – particularly senior managers – are obsessed by pupil progress, not least because Ofsted inspectors are also obsessed by pupil progress. How many times have you heard ‘an outstanding lesson is one in which outstanding progress is made’? All of this rests on the premise that pupil progress can be modelled in a way that allows us to measure how far up a progression ladder a pupil has moved. I am not convinced that this is possible.
I should be clear that here I am making a distinction between a mark scheme and a progression model. A mark scheme is used to assess a particular piece of work (like an exam question) where – although there are still plenty of grey areas – we might still nonetheless rank work against a set of criteria or against the work of other students.
A progression model, in contrast, is more…
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