Assessing Pupils' Progress (APP) and Online Reporting
Is it just me, or is there no communication between central government and the MIS companies? We need to implement 2 big initiatives in the next 12 months and the only way I can see of doing it is to pay for a custom web app that does the job properly, with the UI and reporting we need and which somehow (and we've all read plenty about the problems involved in this) talks to the MIS...
Has anyone found a sensible way of recording assessments under the new APP scheme? I talked to a Serco rep about it several months ago and he wasn't aware of its existence. "ALFIE", their KS3 assessment tool, seems to be an application for making tests, which kind of misses the point completely. We will be reduced to paper I think.
Online Reporting (in place for September 2010 please) requires parents to have access to progress/attainment, attendance and behaviour information. In Eportal we have Lesson by Lesson, we have Behaviour Events, but the best we can do with assessment is a grade or level. We would like therefore to record more detail about individual assessments (i.e. some free text) and do away with annual reports. Unfortunately, as far as I can see both Serco and Capita still see reports to parents as a piece of prose written termly or once a year. The last Serco rep I spoke to recommended Markbook, but I can't see how that lets us enter text (e.g. a next step).
Thinking even further ahead, shouldn't teachers be able to specify an activity online or on the VLE as a next step? That would just need a field which allowed hyperlinks...
I suppose the frustrating thing is that we shouldn't be suggesting developments - we should be wowed by what the companies themselves come up with! Isn't that meant to be the point of a competitive industry? Clever solutions to problems? I can't believe high level meetings don't take place between the companies and civil servants/ministers to let them know what schools are going to need to implement.
Any schools with the answers (or indeed reps from the MIS firms telling me I've got it wrong) please reply...