7. Everybody can be somebody I have yet to meet a young person who does not want to do well. They want to be recognised for their achievements. They want to show that they too have something to offer. They want to feel they are somebody. We want standards to rise, but sideline that very area of learning where many students can excel. It is not uncommon for parents to make it clear that they would prefer their child to drop art, dance, drama and, if need be, music, to make way for more important subjects. The arts can build confidence in the student, release talent in their learning, and act as a lightening conductor for achievement in other subjects. Some schools greatly value expressive subjects in their own right, and as a vehicle capable of driving higher standards in other areas of learning. In these schools, framed art work proudly displayed shouts out, from every wall, how good individual student work can be. The fact that this framed work survives undamaged makes a powerful comment about pride and personal discipline. The same is true of music, dance and drama. These learners can demonstrate ability greater than that of the teachers. Not many subjects can boast this. And it is a degree of relative excellence that motivates. All can succeed. All it takes is a self-belief and the motivation to make it work. Everybody can be somebody. Steven Andrews, Greenwich Education Directorate Secretariat
The Pressures of Assessment 207.
There is a further problem. Teachers and schools now spend considerable time on the administration of assessment, collecting, analysing and submitting information for national testing and spending proportionately less time in developing courses, teaching materials and strategies. They have to record and report in detail the basis of their assessments and subject them to time consuming processes of national checks and balances. Teachers complain that their own judgements are neither trusted nor valued. Clearly, there must be national moderation of pupil assessment to ensure fairness to individuals and comparability between schools. But the strong sense we have from our consultations is that the present levels of administration have become counter productive. Teachers are willing to accept greater responsibility for assessment as part of their professional duties. With appropriate support and training, we believe they should. This is desirable in general terms. It is also necessary to enable teachers to create the conditions for creative and cultural education which we have set out. We strongly support the need for reliable forms of assessment. But the methods and styles of assessment must be appropriate to the tasks in hand. What actions are needed?
More responsibility should be given back to teachers. They canﾃ付 stimulate creativity if they feel powerless themselves. It is essential to have pressure on schools through inspection, but it should go hand-inhand with support.
William Atkinson, Head, Phoenix High School
Published on Mar 30, 2012
All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education Report to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment the Secretary of State for...