Everything in Moderation

  • #UKEdChat session 518.
  • Teacher moderation has been called into disrepute by the media.
  • Moderation is a delicate and tricky issue.
  • Grade inflation has real impacts on the stress and work levels of teachers further up the chain
  • Click here to view the tweet archive.
  • How can we improve moderation to ensure pupils’ learning is optimal?

#UKEdChat session 518 – The recent media coverage surrounding the exam under lockdown fiasco carried a narrative that teachers are over optimist about the estimated grades they submitted, whereas the ‘blind’ algorithm, which incidentally seemed to favour particular types of schools while placing an artificial ceiling on others, is better at judging the performance of students.

Putting aside this utter shambles, the question of moderation, and how teachers ensure they are comparing like with like is a tricky issue. Poor moderation and prior grade inflation places unreasonable pressure on teachers teaching year groups who are assessed by external exams. Furthermore, the pupil may be disadvantaged by initially being misplaced within a class or group and only when working just outside their comfort zone are they optimised to succeed.

Inconsistencies can also cause tension between teachers when a poor understanding of a pupil’s ability and their grading results in the inheritance unrealistic levels from the previous year. Such practices can make some teachers look amazing on paper while storing up trouble for conscientious colleagues who have no choice but to show no progression on paper to absorb the error, while plenty of progressions may have actually taken place. While this could be seen as a failure of the teacher who mis-assesses the pupil, it is also a failure of the system which (a) there is pressure to inflate grades and (b) where there isn’t the support to moderate results.

In the #UKEdChat discussion on Thursday 27th August 2020 at 8pm (UK) we discussed everything in moderation, from the advantage to teaching, to the practicalities of how it can be achieved efficiently.


  1. What does moderation look like in your school?
  2. What are the benefits of good moderation?
  3. What are the impacts of poor moderation?
  4. How can moderation be handled sensitively, especially when a teacher’s assessments are deemed to be too high?
  5. How can small schools or small departments improve their moderation?
  6. What role can students play in the moderation process?
  7. How can you improve your assessment and moderation skills?
  8. What are your top tips for moderation?

Click here to view the tweet archive

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About @ICTmagic 780 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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