Commenting on Michael Gove’s announcements today to change league tables David Weston, Chief Executive of the Teacher Development Trust said:

“Michael Gove must be applauded for listening to criticism of the existing league table measures and making sensible changes. The new league-table measures will help prevent some of the excessive focus on getting D-grade students to C-grade at the expense of others. It will also increase the focus on helping struggling students achieve better grades. However, value-added measures will exacerbate the tension between primary and secondary schools – it will be in secondary schools’ interests for primary schools to achieve low Key Stage 2 SAT scores while the primaries will be striving to keep them high. It could also lead to a reduced focus on high-achieving pupils who have less room for improvement.”

On the announcements about curriculum change and exam change, David Weston said:

“We welcome the indication that the Department for Education has listened to criticism of the plans for the examination system. The focus on more extended questions and a more knowledge-based curriculum should be generally welcomed as these should not only support fundamentals and raise expectations for low-attaining pupils but will also give high-attaining pupils more leeway to express their thinking. We also welcome the slimming down of curricula with less focus on how to teach. However, this major shift in teaching approach will require some intense re-training and development for teachers and we therefore urge the Department to tackle the extremely ineffective on-the-job training that many teachers receive which is severely holding back school improvement.”

Notes to editors:

  • The Teacher Development Trust is the national independent charity for effective teacher training and development.
  • The Trust runs the national database of teacher training and development, which is partnered with the Sutton Trust-EEF Pupil Premium Toolkit