Away game

31st May 1996 at 01:00
Notwithstanding the fact that the key stage 2 league tables will be based on a limited paper exercise after three years of primary education, and will therefore be unrepresentative of a child's real ability, I now have to suffer the injustice of the marking system.

Our school has 11 Year 6 children taking tests this year. One child is therefore 9 per cent of our total possible marks for the school, from which we shall be judged. Page three of the KS2 Southern Examining Group external marking booklet states that: "[the tables] will use percentages based on all children eligible for assessment, rather than all receiving a mark from the tests".

Unfortunately, one child was away for the Tuesday tests: science and mathematics. She will receive no marks for these subjects.

At a larger school. such an occurrence, although annoying and frustrating, would be less of a handicap. It will make a major dent into our results. Would colleagues appreciate doing the tests when 9 per cent of their children were absent?

Why is the Department for Education and Employment not content to take straight percentages from those that took the tests? Does it have a "hidden agenda?"

Now I am left trying to explain to my staff, governors and, most importantly, parents why we seem to have a lower percentage of levels 4 and 5 than our neighbouring schools.

JOHN RIVERS

Headteacher Rolvenden county primary Rolvenden Cranbrook Kent

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