The Ukrainian revolution. For us, it’s personal.

LeninYou may know that whilst I am based in the UK, the Yacapaca office is in Kharkov, Ukraine; currently in the news because the statue of Lenin here was uniquely not demolished after the fall of the dictator Viktor Yanukovich.

Although there has been no serious fighting here, two colleagues from local software companies were killed in the uprising in Kiev. So for the Yacapaca team, it has Continue reading

Ten years on, I admit I was wrong about Building Schools of the Future

BSF: Glass domes and Spandex suits

Remember Building Schools of the Future? It was a flagship programme by the then Labour government to put old wine into new flasks whilst carefully avoiding doing anything that might actually improve the quality of teaching and learning in English schools. I thought it was a gross misappropriation of resources, and said so exactly 10 years ago today.

About that, I was absolutely right. It turned out that Continue reading

Disapplying National Curriculum levels: the official Yacapaca response

Yacapaca delivers criterion-referenced assessments. This makes it very useful for doing things like predicting exam grades, because exams are based on tightly-standardised criteria. A Grade C is the same in Barnsley as it is in Basingstoke. At the upper secondary stage (KS4 in England) we have been able to support a wide spectrum of qualifications, and given teachers a reliable tool with which to measure progression.

The English National Curriculum levels have allowed us to do the same at Key Stage 3. The levels are sufficiently well defined that we have been able to Continue reading