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Has the testing regime had its day?

I'm starting to wonder if we are about to see the pedagogic equivalent of Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, catching the last helicopter out of Saigon. The chorus of voices calling for an end to the ludicrous Sats regime is now deafening.

The whole system is unravelling at a dizzying pace. The Liberal Democrats are disenchanted with it. Christine Gilbert, chief inspector of schools, is unhappy, and even the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority is talking about sample tests involving only 3 per cent of pupils.

Watching the grudging retreat from the original Sats behemoth has been like watching a bacon-slicer. Once there were going to be Sats in subjects including history, geography and design and technology. Now, all that's left is a whimpering apology for the original project, although even this continues to distort our children's education.

Isn't it finally time to dispense with the whole sorry shebang and get back to trusting teachers and giving children the creative curriculum they deserve?

Alan Gibbons

Authors Against the Sats, Liverpool

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