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Maths levels by the back door?

Are the Ready to Progress criteria a fall back to the old levels system?

As a newly qualified teacher my first ever staff meeting was centred around understanding the new levels that had been introduced to support the brand new things called SATS. There was to be an egalitarian education system where children up and down the country were to be rigorously assessed so that all schools could be judged within an inch of their lives. It would all be fair and accurate as each level had pinpoint accurate level descriptors, each child could be given an accurate level reflecting their true ability!

Fast forward to 2020 whee there is no longer any nationally recognised assessment and the free market has been left to run riot through SLTs all over the country with all kinds of spurious assessment systems promising backfilling, gap filling and some really tedious interventions.

The new RtP criteria are, at last, a welcome tool to support the teaching of mastery as they clearly expose the concepts and tasks that children need before they move to the next part of their learning journey.

My worry is that, over time, they will become more of an assessment crutch for teachers and senior leaders rather than something to support the teaching of maths.

Looking back to when levels came in, no one could have predicted that they would have resulted in shallow teaching as schools focussed on whizzing children from one level to the next.

Fingers crossed that these criteria are used as they are intended as they could make a big impact upon maths teaching up and down the country.

Me in 1993.

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