Improved performance beggars belief

30th January 1998 at 00:00
At the time of writing the key stage 2 test results had not yet been published. Our results are on a par with our average performance but slightly down on 1996.

I am particularly concerned about the credibility of the published results as the improved performance of some Birmingham schools beggars belief. If performance in particular schools can be so enhanced in one year then the staff concerned should perhaps be leading at national level rather than working in local schools.

As these results are now published and widely debated, it is time they were administered as public examinations and invigilated by individuals independent of the school. If the conditions under which the tests are taken are guaranteed in this way, the published results will have meaning and relevance for comparability purposes. As things stand, it is impossible for any local or national figure to talk about progress being made towards previously identified targets when the playing field is potentially so uneven.

The other great danger is that schools will feel pressured to coach the children purely to do well in the tests to improve their league table position with consequential damage to the child's overall education.

JOHN McELWEE

Headteacher St John Fisher RC primary school Alvechurch Road, Birmingham

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

Comments

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