Cowards' answerto high marks

6th August 2004 at 01:00
I must comment on your front-page article "Literacy scores improve at last" (TES, July 16).

Having just completed my 30th year in teaching, a lot of which has been spent with Year 6 children and national tests, nothing surprises me anymore.

I can only say that in my own school, the return of papers would normally see a frenzy of activity to scrutinise and return those that were borderline, the marking of which we disagreed with, given the criteria.

These would duly come back upgraded.

This year, however, has seen no repeat of such frenzied activity. The reason? The writing scores could not have been better! According to our teacher assessments, they should have been a lot lower. Children were scoring higher marks on writing than for reading; unheard of. On further investigation, we found children with unjustifiably high marks and embarrassing anomalies. So why aren't we being honest and returning all those scripts we thought were incorrectly marked? Because we are cowards and want to keep the education authority, literacy consultant, governors and head off our backs.

Interestingly enough, your lead article shared the page with: "Markers protest at pressure to raise grades". Spot the connection? I feel sorry for all those children in previous years who were justifiably level 5 writers, but were labelled as level 4. Not that it matters in the long run, but children are easily hurt.

Bryn Jones

50b Main Street



Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now