Academies put teachers under grade pressure

Increasing numbers of teachers in academy schools have contacted a confidential helpline to complain that they’re under pressure to inflate their students’ marks. The removal of local authority oversight and competition between schools are being blamed.

Over the last year the charity Public Concern at Work has seen an 80% increase in the number of complaints from the education sector, with a noticeable rise in calls from teachers in academies, The Guardian reports. They say that they’re being forced to artificially boost pupils’ grades, by ensuring that marks for coursework and internally assessed exams are high, even if they’re not deserved.

Academies are given more freedom than other state schools, but this had led to concerns that the loss of local authority oversight has resulted in teachers being pressurised into breaking the rules. Francesca West from Public Concern at Work said: “Many of these concerns have come from teachers within schools with new academy status that are under pressure to maintain high results. We think that a lot of teachers are looking for support from us now because of the removal of oversight by local authorities.”

A DfE spokesman said there was no evidence that malpractice is more likely in academies than in maintained schools: “Over a thousand schools have chosen to become academies over the last year, but these claims make no attempt to take account of that. Ofqual and all the exam boards have mechanisms to deal with complaints and teachers should contact them if they have any concerns.”

Have you come under pressure to artificially inflate your pupils’ grades?

 

5 thoughts on “Academies put teachers under grade pressure

  1. of course it is true. there are league tables, now the pay of teachers is to be decided based on results and the pressure is huge. Academies are under as much pressure as all other schools, Ofsted will visist schools which are seen to be failing and have moved the goalposts so that what was excellent last year will now only achieve a good. Pressure: of course there is pressure…in all schools

  2. support staff in schools are treated like as if they do not know anything and there is no career progression or staff development programmes in place.

    Many colleagues are forced to resign as they feel they are not understood by senior management and they do not have any idea of how certain departments within the school are run. support staff feel pressurised, bullied, there is no support from senior management and their voice or concerns are not heard. Often what the senior management says goes ahead even if concerns/issues raised by support staff are beneficial for the children in the establishment.

  3. Last year I was told to pass 6 students that failed their course as refused to do this. Another 3 of my students were passed by changing the marks I gave and this is in a HE college. I was then suspended and sacked from my job. I am going to the tribunal in two weeks time, just some pressure eh!!

  4. We are facing an international problem here. I live in Taiwan, at many private high schools teachers are not allowed to give students lower than 60%. Pressure to push the grades up is quite common as well.

    In 2006 I wrote a letter to a national newspaper in The Netherlands. I reacted on a front page article: ‘Teachers have to upgrade student’s marks’. That happened to me at a bilingual school in The Netherlands. The school let me go because I didn’t want to do this. But of course they manufactured a different reason for letting me go.

  5. We are facing an international problem here. I live in Taiwan, at many private high schools teachers are not allowed to give students lower than 60%. Pressure to push the grades up is quite common as well.

    In 2006 I wrote a letter to a national newspaper in The Netherlands. I reacted on a front page article: ‘Teachers have to upgrade student’s marks’. That happened to me at a bilingual school in The Netherlands. The school let me go because I didn’t want to do this. But of course they manufactured a different reason.

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