CEA case study: Ian Crawford CIEA Trustee
I qualified as a Chartered Educational Assessor in 2011. At the time I had multiple motivations for achieving the qualification and status:
- I had been heavily involved in exam work with three boards and I wanted to take stock of my knowledge and formalise my understanding of the assessment/exam practice I was involved in.
- I was an Adviser for a Local Authority and led on a range of 14-19 developments including the diploma, A Level delivery and foundation learning.
- As a teacher I had led on teaching and learning, in particular developing practice around feedback and Assessment for Learning. The CEA qualification again helped to stretch my knowledge and my ability to apply good assessment principles across a range of educational settings.
- Assessment is interesting and fundamental to our management of learning and teaching!
The course was split between a week-long training programme and a sixth-month study at a school I was supporting. I really enjoyed both aspects of the qualification delivery: The training was high quality, well delivered and the opportunity of working with staff from a variety of schools (both primary and secondary) was useful for sharing good practice and ideas.
The training itself is divided into five segments (preparing for assessment, conducting assessments, feeding back after assessment, managing others and managing yourself). Assessors can focus on the technical design aspects, but the reality is that the leadership and team building skills are just as essential when striving for institutional improvement through assessment.
The qualification has proven invaluable: The principles of good assessment are universal and with the CEA status I have been able to work across the educational landscape (primary – HE).
The case study was also highly developmental. I was able to work with a school in Sandwell working with their design and technology department (definitely not my subject!). Although the department had some great teachers and great teaching, there were issues surrounding the quality of feedback which meant that the take up of Design at KS4 was disappointing. The project helped the teachers review their marking policy and feedback strategies. Recruitment did, I believe, improve to their subject! The school later invited me back to help with the development of their new sixth form.
Developing the portfolio was straightforward and there was always support when requested. You do need to be organised (teachers are anyway) and collect evidence as you progress (my resource collection box under my desk proved invaluable).
The qualification has proven invaluable:
- My exam work has increased significantly – I am a Reviser for an A level paper, Principal Examiner for another subject and a moderator for an employability qualification. I feel that my assessment skills are secure, and the CEA really helped with my confidence.
- I have worked for eight years as a consultant working on a range of diverse projects including European projects, mental health projects in prisons, A Level data consultancy, pupil premium and the delivery of STEM services in the Black Country.
- The CEA qualification has helped develop my analytical skills and the ability to work with multiple teams at a variety of levels (teachers, senior management and cross partnership groups).
- The principles of good assessment are universal and with the CEA status I have been able to work across the educational landscape (primary – HE).
- In recent years I have also worked at Keele University and have designed and introduced a Business Foundation Year programme. The principles of good assessments and constructive alignment has made this process relatively straightforward and highly rewarding - with no false starts and good outcomes for my learners.
- I am still very interested in assessment and have just been awarded Fellowship to the HEA. I really believe that the CEA kickstarted my career!
I would absolutely recommend others to embark on the course – although we are all very busy, the qualification is a real opportunity to invest in yourself. The positive impact for your school/college will be real. There is so much emphasis now on high quality assessment and feedback expected by OFSTED and integral to improvement strategies.
I am proud of my CEA status and would recommend the qualification to my peers. It will take time and energy, but it will be highly developmental and rewarding. - Ian Crawford BA NPQH CEA FCIEA
I would absolutely recommend others to embark on the course – although we are all very busy, the qualification is a real opportunity to invest in yourself. The positive impact for your school/college will be real.