Challenging the chief inspector

20th December 2013 at 00:00

I note with horror that Her Majesty's Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw wants to reinvent the past of Sats testing as a "new idea".

Five years ago, I presented research evidence to a parliamentary committee gathered over 10 years of national curriculum assessment (1997-2007), which proved beyond any doubt the massive skewing of the primary curriculum towards "teaching to the test". This occurred because teachers and school leaders knew it was necessary to survive the bean counting by schools inspectorate Ofsted.

Is there any chance of teachers being supported (beyond the level of empty rhetoric) to do what they do best, Sir Michael? That is, supporting learners to progress meaningfully through challenge, but at a differentiated pace.

Professor Bill Boyle, Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester.

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