Key stage tests cost 'staggering' pound;50m

30th November 2007 at 00:00
More than pound;50 million of taxpayers' money is to be spent on national curriculum testing this year.

This sum, pound;50.57 million - to be spent on key stage 1, 2 and 3 tests - would pay the annual salaries of more than 2,500 new teachers.

David Laws, Liberal Democrat spokesman for children, schools and families, who was given the figure in a written parliamentary answer, said: "This is a staggering amount of money to spend on testing, rather than education. It raises the question, is the testing regime giving value for money?"

The full cost of testing could be even higher, he said, once other elements, such as teachers' time, were taken into account.

Professor Peter Tymms, of Durham University, who has questioned the accuracy of test results, said: "This is a lot of money. Where's the evidence that it's having a positive effect?"

But Jim Knight, schools minister, said it was "money well spent". "Seeing that children leave school up to the right standard is the highest priority of government," he said.

Mr Laws also uncovered "astonishing levels" of spending on rail travel by department officials and on conference hire by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

Some pound;4 million was spent on first-class train travel and pound;4.2 million was spent on hiring meeting rooms in the past 18 months. Many luxury hotels were used to host conferences organised as part of the secondary curriculum review.

A QCA spokesman said the review was a major undertaking and that it had spoken to 8,500 teachers, local authority officials, parents, governors and pupils as part of the consultations.

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