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TEAM B: Non-Publication of MEGs (Minimum Expected Grade)

1. Why should we not publish the Minimum Expected Grades to parents


and students?

Setting targets does nothing good for pupils it can even make things
worse
Schools week March 2016.

1.1 Labelling students with a Minimum Expected Grade (MEG) encourages


students to adopt a fixed view of their intelligence and potential, and as
such is deeply flawed.
1.2 Such labelling can demotivate, limit student aspiration and create a
ceiling on expectation; this is not in keeping with a growth mindset
culture.
1.3 Research suggests that a target driven culture does little to improve
students' grades, progress or aspirations, but can make students afraid of
failure, stressed, anxious and lowers their self-esteem.
1.4 Many of our learners, particularly students with higher targets, can feel
under enormous pressure to meet their MEGs and fear failure when they
do not attain the grade.
1.5 Students must be constantly challenged and their efforts and progress
celebrated, but this can be done successfully without measuring against
a target. We want to move away from giving students unreliable and
misleading targets that can cap their aspirations, demotivate or cause
angst.
1.6 MEGs are in fact statistical likelihoods, they are not predictions. While
they do provide a measure in terms of our own accountability, they
should not be a limiting factor in student achievement.

2. Will the reporting and assessment system change?


2.1The reporting system will remain largely unchanged, with the exception
of omitting Minimum Expected Grades on the assessment report.
Students will continue to receive three termly reports based on progress
and effort.
2.2The schools reporting of progress and assessment has changed
considerably over the last two years. A system has been developed which
focuses primarily on student learning, reporting progress and providing
great feedback. The school has successfully initiated a move away from
levels and reporting attainment, to charting progress relative to a
students starting point. The school is in an advantageous position in
terms of reporting progress compared to many local and National
schools. An important part of our plan for the future is to stop publishing
a target grade which is in keeping with developing a growth mindset
culture throughout the school.
2.3The inclusion of the Minimum Expected Grade on the school assessment
report has been misunderstood by some parents and therefore the

removal will provide more clarity and increase the focus on progress and
effort grades.
2.4An integral part of the assessment process relates to feedback and
identifying strategies for improvement. As a school we need a more
consistent approach to recording individual strategies for improvement
related to progress. Improving this area will be an agenda item at Middle
Leader training and subsequent subject Teaching and Learning Forums
(TLF) in 2016/17. The strategies for improvement need to be
personalised and specific to show how individual students can make
progress from their current position within each subject area.
2.5The strategies for improvement will be included in the new student
planners and the pastoral team, primarily form tutors and House Progress
Leaders (HPL) will use these during discussions with students.
2.6Attainment at KS4 will be consistently reported by all subjects. The
grade (9-1) inputted into SIMS will be based on the likely final grade
related to current performance. This will be an indication of a likely
grade to parents and should help them to support their child. The
strategies for improvement, feedback and discussion will therefore be
essential to support students in achieving the best grade possible.
3. Standardised scores
3.1 It is recognised that students do not always progress in a linear way
within each subject area. It is also clear that not all students will make
the same progress over time. However, we must use a common starting
point to help determine a suitable end point for each student.
3.2 Students from 2016 onwards will arrive with a Key Stage 2 standardised
score which we have very limited knowledge about. Ofqual have
determined that 100 will be the expected score in literacy and
mathematics, which in theory is equivalent to an old level 4b.
3.3 Students who complete Key Stage 4 from 2018 onwards will be awarded
the new GCSE number grades (9-1) with the expected pass grade being
a grade 5. We can therefore surmise that a KS2 score of 100 should
indicate a grade 5 at the end of Key Stage 4. In terms of communication
with parents we should convey this and nothing else.
3.4 Clearly we will be asked for more detailed information from parents but
we can, in all honesty, not give anything else with any certainty. They
hopefully should be able to draw their own conclusions and a chart
indicating a flight path (figure1) could be used to help.
Figure 1

100
GCSE
grade

Standardi
sed score

6
10

7
11

Year group

3.5 Further communication with parents should reassure them that a high
percentage of students with a score of 100 may well obtain more than a
grade 5 at the end of Key Stage 4 and that this diagram is to be used
with caution. We have to reinforce the message that we have no ceiling
on outcomes.
3.6 Despite the graph in figure 1 we should also re-affirm the belief that
progress is not linear and therefore students will not be expected to
follow the flight path above, but may well oscillate above or below it over
the 5 years they are at Huntington School.
4. Accountability and teacher perception
4.1The research suggests that target grades can limit student aspiration and
create a ceiling on expectations but we realise some information related
to prior learning is required by teachers.
4.2Data from FFT Aspire will be generated related to prior learning, in
consultation with Subject Leaders. However, and critically, this data
should not prevent aspiration. We need to educate teachers about their
biases and assumptions related to the data as the benefits from not
publishing Minimum Expected grades will be reduced.
4.3 The FFT Aspire data will be subject specific and more reliable, with the
benchmark set at its highest so as to foster an aspirational culture.
5. Communication with parents and students.
5.1A common, growth mindset language related to aspiration, challenge and
progress needs to be further established. A shared language about
articulating progress from rather than progress towards should be
used.
5.2Communication to parents will be essential and explanation related to
progress and future aspiration will need to be clear. We need parents to
invest a considerable amount of trust in the school in relation to the end
goal of every student being supported to achieve the best GCSE grade
possible. Although we do not feel it necessary to make an
announcement that target grades will not be published, a clear
statement or video recording should be available on the school website
giving sound and justified reasons.
5.3Staff training will take place related to communicating progress to
parents and some phrases issued to help structure conversations:
- Is making good progress from his/her starting point and continues to
.
- Has developed a positive attitude toward his/her learning and is
making exceptional progress.
- Is not making the expected progress from his/her starting point and
needs to

Is working towards the progress expected from his/her starting point


to continue to make progress he/she needs to..

6. Procedures
6.1 The culture of having not publishing target grades will be the next step of
a growth mindset school. The non-publication of Minimum Expected
Grades will be phased in over the next few years.
2016/17
Year 7
Year 8

No MEG
Retain
MEG
Year 9
Retain
MEG
Year 10
No MEG
Year 11
Retain
MEG
6.2 To provide a consistent approach it will be essential that data related to
FFT is not on public view e.g. mark books, information projected on screens,
SIMS.
7. Conclude
7.1
Target grades can limit student achievement by creating a ceiling
effect of their own view of themselves and because of teacher
perceptions. While we still need a measure for accountability, by not
communicating MEGs to students, we are at least removing the negative
barriers they place upon themselves. We need to win the trust to gain the
argument with parents, but there is a different mindset and a challenge
needed for teachers.