Enough to make one weep;Letter

23rd May 1997 at 01:00
A conscientious and able child recently wept her way though paper 4 of the key stage 2 maths test. Her mother reported that she had not been able to sleep for several nights.

Other children in my class displayed a variety of anxiety symptoms and many have been worrying about the tests for weeks.

Our secondary schools have asked us to administer their own tests as they find the SATs scores of so little value.

I have wasted the past month taking children though preparation work, particularly in science, where children are tested on all work covered in primary school. The expense and disruption of the whole exercise is manifest.

Today's maths paper B is of the brain-teaser type, stimulating perhaps for the most able but with little scope for average and below-average children to demonstrate hard-won basic skills.

May I invite your readers and the new Secretary of State to ponder on who benefits from the tests?

My pupils and I would like to know.


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