Virtual Schoolbag (VSB)

15 Oct 2018
Headteachers, teachers and teaching assistants of all primary, all-through schools
Priority / Statutory requirement
09 Nov 2018
Proposed changes to the moderation model for the 2018-19 moderation cycle

East Sussex statutory moderation at Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2) has traditionally been conducted in line with the Standards and Testing Agency’s (STA) guidance with only minor adjustments (for example: sending pupil data to the moderation manager prior to the in-school visit).

Following feedback on the 2017-18 moderation process from schools and headteachers, the Local Authority (LA) is proposing to change the model for the 2018-19 moderation cycle, moving from the ‘in-school visit’ model to a ‘central’ meeting approach. The new approach would mean that, instead of LA moderators going to the school, school staff would come out to meet with a moderator in a ‘central’ venue. (For the purposes of this model, the ‘central’ location would be chosen based on the number of schools to be moderated within the surrounding area.) Several moderation meetings would be happening at the same time in the same location, and the LA lead moderators and the LA moderation manager would be available throughout.

The central moderation events early in the moderation window (ie: 4th – 7th June), in order to maximise the amount of time teachers will then have to address any gaps that are identified by moderators. Cluster moderation meetings (for schools that are not part of the statutory moderation process) would take place after the formal moderation process.

The benefits of moving to this model would be:

  • to ensure greater consistency between moderators
  • to establish more transparency about the moderation process overall
  • to provide a dedicated space to engage in professional dialogue without interruption or disruption
  • to allow queries to be addressed immediately by the lead moderators and/ or the moderation manager
  • to minimise complaints and appeals
  • to allow teachers to compare work directly with other moderated schools
  • to provide early identification of gaps/ areas of weakness for teachers to address before submitting data to the DfE

We are, of course, aware that such a model will require careful planning by schools and the LA. As part of the statutory moderation process schools will, as previously, need to release their staff for the half day moderation meeting (either a morning or an afternoon session). Venues for the meetings will be chosen to ensure that school staff do not have to travel too far from their schools. Each class teacher would meet individually with a moderator to discuss the work of her/his class. In schools with more than one class, all the class teachers responsible for end of key stage assessment would need to attend a meeting.

The STA also requires LA moderators to provide feedback on the outcomes of moderation to the headteacher or a representative from the senior leadership team (as identified in the 2018 STA Teacher Assessment Guidance for Schools and Local Authorities documentation – updated guidance for 2019 will be published by the STA soon). In order to facilitate this requirement, headteachers will need to attend, or send an appropriate representative to, the specified feedback time (most likely the last hour of the meeting). Any headteachers and/or senior leadership representatives who would like to attend the whole meeting would be very welcome to do so.

The STA is clear that any change to statutory guidance can only be implemented by means of a Local Agreement. Schools may choose to opt out of the Local Agreement, and in this case, the LA would apply the statutory guidance arrangements for these specific schools.

“External moderation arrangements that are communicated to schools by LAs and that lie outside the scope of [the teacher assessment guidance document] are by local agreement only and must be clearly stated as non-statutory.

Local agreements should be drawn up in consultation with, and with the agreement of, all stakeholders and revised annually. A local agreement should be signed by both LA and school. All schools should have a written copy.”

                               2018 teacher assessment guidance: key stage 1 (p16) and key stage 2 (p17)

As we believe that the benefits of the new model outweigh any associated obstacles, we are seeking the views of headteachers on the proposals.

Summary of Proposal for New 2018-19 Model

In order to ensure consistency and transparency, moderation of KS1 reading, writing and mathematics and moderation of KS2 writing moves to the ‘central’ meeting model. Schools to be moderated will be grouped geographically and a suitable venue allocated. The moderation manager will be on hand on the day to address queries and/ or concerns.

Summary of historical model

Moderators visit schools separately. Queries and disputes are addressed after the event by the moderation manager.

Please take some time to consider the opportunities and risks posed by each model and let us know what you would prefer. All responses should be sent to the LA moderation manager: by noon on Friday the 9th of November.





Suzy Buist
Suzy Buist
Support and Intervention Manager: Assessment

Phone: 01323 466976