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Judge dread

Whatever happened to trendy teachers? Only 10 years ago they were excoriated by the tabloids, Chris Woodhead and Tory ministers. Now, at least in England's infant classes, they appear to be a dying breed. Trendy teachers disliked rules and thought they knew better than government aparatchiks. Now we find that, in England's pilot scheme to put teacher assessment rather than government tests at the heart of judgments about attainments, Year 2 teachers are afraid to trust their own abilities (see page 4).

Welsh teachers appear relatively confident by comparison but then they have been less oppressed by the culture of testing and tables than their English counterparts are. Long may that remain the case.

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