Statistical Nonsense

WE are very much against the use of numbers to assess education. Schools, colleges, universities and alike are NOT companies and shouldn’t be judged in the same way as an auditor judges a company i.e. on profits and costs. It should be the the impact on the students’ lives i.e. on their view of its success not abstract data. If you break down the different measurements used in ESOL, for example, (achievement, attendance, retention and progression) they can all be manipulated and massaged. Students can be held back, refused an exam, struck off registers just after audits and so on. Exams as assessment of achievement are pointless if they are based on examiner interpretation. A Maths multiple choice is effective but not a English Language test for the latter is based on the values, beliefs and experiences but also prejudices and ignorance of the assessor. Using flowery language is attractive to only some.


Progression onto different classes or educational institutions is the only measurement that counts. It tells us if our courses were worth the prospectuses they were written in and would be effective even if students feel progress has been made despite not gaining a piece of paper with an exam. This would empower students further and be a wake-up call for those schools, colleges and unis who currently dictate rather than respond to student need.

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