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Friday, 18 February 2011

Educational policy in England

I've mentioned SQA's research seminars and masterclasses before. I attended a research seminar on educational policy in England this afternoon. It was presented by Professor Jo-Anne Baird and Professor Janette Elmwood of Queen's University.

The focus of the seminar was the impact of educational policy in the 14-19 age group in England. The presenters emphasised the sheer number of changes that had occurred in England during the last ten years. For example, funding for English colleges "had changed every year for the last 10 years" resulting in an atmosphere of constant change. The presenters had carried out research with school pupils and college students, and said some interesting things about assessment. English students liked external assessment, expressing the view that it was "fair" and "equal", compared to internal assessment, which could be effected by their relationships with their teachers. They liked a mix of examinations and courseworks but felt there was too much assessment.

The presenters pointed out that "the student voice" was rarely heard when policy was created -- which reminded me that I need to get a student representative onto the QDT for the HN review. :-)

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