“Children are more than just a statistic. Education is more than government outlines”: Primary teachers’ perspectives on the standards agenda in England

Zeta Williams-Brown and Michael Jopling

Abstract

This paper focuses on qualitative findings from a study that investigated primary teachers’ perspectives on the standards agenda in England. Q-methodology was used to investigate the complexity of their perspectives. The study’s Q-methodology findings are published in Education 3-13 (Williams-Brown and Jopling, 2021). This paper focuses on qualitative responses from this study that were completed after the Q-methodology card sort. It focuses on teachers’ overall perspectives on the standards agenda and statements from the card sort that were placed by five participants or more in the extreme columns of the distribution grid. Findings from the study evidence that teachers were not opposed to standards and accountability, but they voiced a variety of concerns that did not focus solely on SATs. These include concerns about perceptions of achievement, experiences of assessment and measures taken to hold teachers and schools accountable for their actions. Teachers did also emphasise concerns with SATs and discussed the need for objectives to be inclusive and consider the needs of children with SEND. The paper concludes by questioning whether this is the time to reconsider standards agenda objectives.

 

Brown, Z. and Jopling, M. (2021) “Children are more than just a statistic. Education is more than government outlines”: Primary teachers’ perspectives on the standards agenda in England. Educationalfutures, [online] Vol. 12(1). Available at: https://educationstudies.org.uk/?p=16042 [Accessed 14 Aug, 2022].
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