Let’s not pretend 2020 was ever going to be easy but Govt is adrift, Civil Servants in DfE have scrambled to make sense of daily policy shifts to devise tools and guidance on the fly, where they would normally have months to prepare.
The infamous algorithm is becoming clearer and most now agree they gave primacy to institutional track record rather than individual student performance. This gaff would inevitably drown out the natural stars in less illustrious schools while assuming those schooled in the golf-coursed boarding schools of the British elite would naturally excel and so take up the majority of the best university places.
The problem is that A≠A and sometimes A≈B. In other words, a pupil at a state school, with stretched resources, limited facilities, teacher-student ratios of 1:30 from a community not steeped in education has climbed a steeper mountain to achieve an A grade than their contemporary in a class of 10-20 from a wealthy School and a tradition of academic rights of passage. Arguably, the A grader from a school in special measures should deserve greater kudos.
The UN defined 17 Sustainable Development Goals for a sustainable future including Reduced Inequalities (SDG10) where opportunity should arise from achievement not advantage. This is an SDG because a sustainable world should not entrench wealth and advantages for a rich elite at the expense of the rest – we should aspire to a sustainable share for everyone.
And why should we care?
- A world of inequality is more likely to spawn social groups who feel disenfranchised, deprived, exploited and, ultimately resentful. Resentful societies breed unrest and conflict – both of which have huge negative impacts on human rights, economies, ecosystems and social stability across such an interconnected world.
- On the upside, diversity and equality is good for business. It is an engine for innovation, different thinking, challenging methods, linking to new customers, understanding market changes.
As it is, many businesses do quite well sifting the apparent high graders but sadly they won’t see the bright ones who leave formal education for all sorts of reasons. An educational system which tracks examination outcomes alongside learning context could help funnel more talented young people to places able help them grow their potential.
We need grading systems that highlight more than just an examination mark to identify the self-starters, the unstoppables, the creatives, those with revolutionary outlooks. That diversity will breed innovation and enrich how our businesses evolve.
How are you spotting these game changers?
The Sustainability Goals give us new opportunities for growth and prosperity. Opportunities which can revolutionise how our economies and businesses can work different and better. They will spawn the new and transform those willing to change. It just requires people willing to think different to challenge traditional safe ways of working for a New Normal.
JamJarCo provides Management Consultancy Services framed within the Sustainability agenda to deliver Sustainability with Growth.