Following the publication of Databusting for Schools in July, the book is proving to be extremely popular, and feedback continues to come in.
Databusting for Schools was written to make the world of education data accessible to those who may might the subject daunting, so my favourite bit of feedback so far is probably from Primary headteacher Darren Norman: 'Not dry at all, would highly recommend to leaders and governors'. That was exactly the aim for the book, and it's good to see that it is being received so well.
I spoke at the ResearchEd National Conference in September, in a session which I called 'Assessment 101 – Ten things everyone should know about assessing children'. This session took various themes covered in Databusting for Schools and laid them out for those new to the issues in psychometrics.
These kinds of introductions to assessment are proving to be very popular, as are the sessions I run on the current pupil performance data landscape, looking at the recent history and future direction of the use of numerical data in schools.
I'm speaking at a couple of public events in October, if you like to hear me talk.
EducTech Show, London Olympica, October 12th (details here).
School Data Conference, London, November 7th (details here).
ResearchEd Durham, Durham, November 24th (details here).
I also wrote a piece, 'Tracking Pupil progress Doesn't Always Mean Using Data' for Teach Primary, which you can find here.
As my Teach Primary piece concludes, "Many schools have stopped allocating dubious numbers to children, embracing standardised tests and comparative judgement instead.
Lots have embraced the idea that assessing attainment and monitoring progress are separate endeavours, and have worked hard to ensure that children are properly supported in learning those things they have not yet mastered, rather than pushed on before they have grasped the curriculum appropriate to their age.
When Sean Harford, Ofsted’s engaging national director of education, recently tweeted that tracking pupil progress “doesn’t necessarily mean ‘use data’”, the odd hissing sound you might have heard probably came from the offices of those who have been tasked with managing data in their schools, as the air slowly leaked from the tyres of their data juggernauts.
Simply put, progress happens when a child’s knowledge and understanding advances, rather than when a number has been generated. It’s about what children can do now that they couldn’t do before, not simply whether the figures have changed. That, more than anything, is progress."
Please get in touch if you have any comments, feedback or requests for further information.