End this test madness, now

28th March 2003 at 00:00
We write as infant teachers convinced that it is time to stop the key stage 1 national tests.

Teachers are well aware of the destructive effects the tests have had on education. That knowledge is now backed up by numerous academic studies.

Recent studies by Bristol and Ontario universities reveal large demotivational effects, as well as a narrowing of the curriculum.

Last year Wales abandoned the KS1 tests - the sky didn't fall in. But instead of following that example, in England the Government is going in the other direction: this year there will be more papers, more questions, more futile work for teachers and pupils. And on top of that the standards fund which used to release teachers to mark the papers has been withdrawn.

We think it is time to bring an end to this madness.

Last summer, a National Union of Teachers' survey in 12 education authorities showed more than 92 per cent of KS1 teachers thought the tests should be boycotted. We implore KS1 teachers to write to their unions calling for a tests boycott.

Let's return to real education.

Polly Donnison Benthal infants school Benthal Road, London N16 Plus 65 other teachers from 18 London schools

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