Sue Williamson, SSAT CEO, writes…
We hope you have had a restful and enjoyable summer break.
We hope also that your examination results were what you were expecting and that, as they receive their results today, the majority of your students will be happy.
We’ve been watching and listening to the reactions with interest. It does appear there has been a more mixed experience than last year. SSAT would be very pleased to receive news of your results, both good and disappointing, with a view to celebrating your achievements and developing a narrative about the new boundaries. Please send your comments and insights to GCSE@ssatuk.co.uk.
We hope you won’t need to use it, but the following information from Ofqual might be helpful.
- An overview of the exam system (prepared for MPs, but possibly of use to parents too)
- Why GCSEs may look different this year
- A chart showing what to do if you suspect something has gone wrong
Whatever picture your results paint, SSAT believes that school leaders and teachers have the deep, practice-based knowledge to drive our education system to take us to world class. We’re committed to working with you to address the challenges that schools face; to identify ways to deliver better outcomes for all students by doing things differently to do them better, and sharing the lessons we learn.
Over the coming months we have a lot of inspiring, challenging and thought-provoking ideas to share. The first of SSAT’s Redesigning Schooling pamphlets – my pamphlet, The Need for Change – will be sent to all SSAT member headteachers in the third week of the new term. This will be followed a fortnight later by Effective Teaching and Learning, by Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas. The first of two Dylan Wiliam pamphlets will arrive the week before half term: Principled Curriculum Design. He is also writing a pamphlet on assessment to be released in the spring term 2014.
All SSAT member headteachers will receive a copy of each pamphlet, along with opportunities to engage in shaping the profession’s vision for how we overcome the challenges we face. More pamphlets will follow as the Redesigning Schooling campaign builds. We’re looking at perspectives from all stakeholders, and at accountability. We hope you will engage with the ideas and find them useful in structuring your vision in this era of increased autonomy. As we enter another year of seismic change, it is time that we define together an education system that addresses, with one voice, the needs of our profession and of all stakeholders.
Delegates at our National Conference 2013: the new professionalism, 5-6 December, Manchester, will spend two days working with Michael Fullan and Andy Hargreaves, along with many other leading thinkers, to address the big questions: what kind of training do teachers and school leaders need to become outstanding, and continue to thrive and excel at all stages of their careers? What pedagogies do we need to use to ensure all students get the best possible start? How do teachers design curricula that can enable this, and what might an intelligent accountability framework look like?
The outcomes of this work will be written up by Michael and Andy in a pamphlet in spring 2014: What the New Professionalism Means for the UK. I strongly urge every SSAT member to be a part of this agenda-setting opportunity. The member-only early bird price of £449 for two days is available until 30 September.
Good luck today, and for the coming term.