Friday, 19 February 2016

Yo-Yo Pricing: The New Revised Deadline

Year 2 and 6 teachers - today we all became victims of 'Yo-Yo Pricing'.

The biggest education news in the last 24 hours is of course Nick Gibb's confirmation that "the department would listen to the concerns raised by the sector regarding the deadlines for this year’s assessments at key stage 1 and 2...". The department's response? They have introduced "a new revised deadline of 30 June for both."  

'Yo-Yo Pricing' is a standard trick in the aisles of this country's supermarkets. Here's a definition of it: A product is sold at an inflated price for a limited period at low volume in just a few stores, then rolled out across all stores at the lower price. So, a pack of hot cross buns (let's keep this seasonal) is emblazoned with a '50p off' sticker, suggesting great value for money, and we all buy two packets because they're such a bargain. What we don't know is that's actually just the normal intended price and that for a week, at the back of a handful of stores, they were selling hot cross buns (out of season) for 50p more than the 'new price'. It's a great swizz.

 And so is the "new revised deadline". Let's cast our minds back, ooh, say, a year? When was the old un-revised deadline? 26th June. And all of a sudden, with a bit of yo-yo pricing, low and behold, the new revised deadline is 30th June. Yes, it came via 27th May, but that's the equivalent of the product which is sold at an inflated price for a limited period at low volumes in just a few stores, isn't it? They've not conceded anything. It's just gone back to how it was before. It smacks of being a pre-meditated political bargaining chip. Maybe the conversation went like this:

DfE bod 1: We know they'll complain, and unions will probably make ultimatums, so let's make sure we've got something we are happy to change to show that we're listening to them.
DfE bod 2: How about we pretend that we're changing the teacher assessment data deadline and then when they do complain, we can just put it back to when it used to be?
DfE bod 1: Good idea. Was that minuted? We'll just wait until the unions wade in before we action it though, OK?
DfE bod 2: Sorted. Once we've 'relented' on that they've not got a leg to stand on, have they? They won't be able to say we didn't listen.

Maybe I'm being too skeptical. Maybe the DfE will make more revisions to their proposals but as it stands, I'm not going to be dazzled by today's display of apparent concern and acquiescence. Maybe it wasn't even as intentional as I imagine, but make no mistake: this is yo-yo pricing. Yes, I'm glad that, just like all the years before now, we'll have another month of teaching and assessment time before we have to submit teacher assessment data, but since when has the status quo been anything to write home about?

Really all we're ending up with is this:

Main Photo Credit: hz536n/George Thomas via Compfight cc

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