Journal Article


Playing the system: incentives to "game" and educational ethics in school examination entry policies in England

Abstract

There has been a period of intense policy change involving GCSE examinations in England, proposed partly in response to schools using tactics to maximise performance against accountability measures. The reforms included a change to linear rather than modular entry, removing partial re-sits, and limiting early and multiple entry to examinations by changing school accountability measures. We present new empirical data from interviews conducted with senior teachers at 15 schools. The focus of these interviews has been in the English and mathematics departments; the first subjects to be examined in the new specifications. The data suggest that teachers acknowledge this practice of ‘gaming’ but only as something ‘other’ schools did. Whilst the reforms have now allowed for the system to be viewed as a more level playing field, teachers still describe a constant tension in the decisions surrounding examination entry. They describe the desire for a balance that is not just between school and student outcomes, but also between different outcomes such as motivation, performance, and engagement. Tensions arise between these outcomes when entry choices are being made.

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Authors

Ingram, Jenni
Elliott, Victoria
Morin, Caroline
Randhawa, Ashmita
Brown, Carol

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\School of Education

Dates

Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-07-03


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License


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This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Playing the system: incentives to "game" and educational ethics in school examination entry policies in England

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  • Owner: Joseph Ripp
  • Collection: Outputs
  • Version: 1 (show all)
  • Status: Live