Teacher survey

Transmaths: Institutions - Through College

A key element in the performance management of colleges relies on students’ examination grades. These when aggregated provide data that positions the college in relation to other local, regional and national post-16 providers. For some colleges it is important to be positioned as high as possible in the resulting league tables – others tend to be more inclusive and academic excellence is not their only concern. We observed instances where the ‘needs’ of the college at times overrode those of the student: this can be particularly important in the case of a relatively demanding A Level such as mathematics with students potentially being advised to follow a less demanding programme. This may have serious long-term implications for the student.

The pressure of maximizing results has an immediate impact in classrooms where there is much ‘teaching to the test’ and with teachers under pressure not to take risks with their teaching. Consequently we observed mainly transmissionist pedagogies and very few teachers committed to teaching.