Ofsted: Maths Exam Progress Is Not Evidence for Better Education

In their report, Mathematics: Understanding the score, Ofsted bemoans the amount of teaching to the test that goes on. It seems that, after many years of squeezing ever increasing exam grades out of children, they have finally seen some of the damage they have caused.

Their press release says that many schools...
...are not teaching mathematics well enough because they place too much emphasis on routine exercises and on ‘teaching to the test’. While this style of teaching prepares pupils to pass examinations, and gain necessary qualifications, it is less effective in promoting the required understanding to apply mathematics to new situations, solve problems and communicate solutions.
So, after years of forcing school results to climb improbably, under the threat that the satisfactory is not good enough mantra will blight their reports, are Ofsted going to back off from damning teachers who are devoted enough to their charges to ignore the unprofessional pressure from managers and HM Inspectors?

Like hell they will!

Managers will still be sweating over a tenth of a percentage point drop in the A* to C figure and Heads of Department will still be coercing teachers to keep marking and returning the coursework until it is right. Pupils revealed as just below the threshold grade D or level 5 from the relentless practising past-paper will still be enrolled on Ofsted endorsed Booster Sessions whether they need this additional support or not while needy students in lower grade bands are left to flounder.

Leopards don't so easily change their spots. This report will be, however, another excuse for inspectors and politicians to lean on teachers all the more.

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