GTC wants to scrap tables

2nd July 2004 at 01:00
League tables and pupil assessment would be abolished in their current forms under radical plans being proposed by the General Teaching Council for England.

It is calling on the Government to review testing at key stages 1, 2 and 3.

This would be led by a group similar to that being headed by former chief inspector Mike Tomlinson for the 14-19 age group.

The GTC believes that the testing regime should be overhauled to provide diagnostic information about how a pupil can progress, instead of focusing on raw results.

And it wants to see performance tables being used to inform parents about the different types of schooling in their area, rather than as a crude mechanism for ranking schools.

A report on the future of assessment was debated at the GTC's council meeting at Warwick university this week.

A final draft is expected to be presented to Education Secretary Charles Clarke shortly.

It comes as the organisation campaigns for greater self-evaluation for schools. The council wants to see the Office for Standards in Education offering more support to weak schools.

The council suggests that nationwide banks of activities and tasks should be set up. They could be used to assess pupils' progress, and the outcomes could be compared with sample cohorts around the country, rather than subjecting all pupils to tests at the end of the key stages.

Testing would take the form of "formative assessment", meaning that it would be used to adapt teaching to the needs of the child, and to increase pupils' and parents' awareness of how they could change their learning in order to make progress.

Carol Adams, the GTC's chief executive, said: "We want to see a system that is more geared to the individual child's learning, rather than an overview of how a school is performing."

The council also voted through a code of conduct for teachers, which defines how they should treat pupils, parents and colleagues and says they must maintain high standards of probity.

The code was condemned by Chris Keates, acting general secretary of the National Association of Scholmasters Union of Women Teachers, as superfluous and open to abuse.

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