Has the testing regime had its day?

30th March 2007 at 01:00
Schools should be about educating pupils, not teaching them to pass tests in an inflexible, mechanical process and shoehorning them into sitting tests at times that suit the Government's agenda, not the interests of children. Tests have a place in education but our pupils are currently over-tested.

I welcome the proposals from Ken Boston, head of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, for greater use of teacher assessment as this would allow teachers to use their professional skills for the benefit of pupils'

education. We need to move away from rigid teaching to tests to allow more accurate measures of pupils' development. Random selection of pupils would be better than the current system but could lead to teaching to tests to ensure pupils were prepared in case they were selected. We would need assurance that data from random tests would not be used for league tables or drive intervention by Ofsted. As personalised learning becomes the focus of attention, it is time for the Government and the QCA to bring this testing regime to an end.

Philip Parkin

General Secretary, Professional Association of Teachers, Derby

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today