Letters Extra: Answers on a postcard, please

20th December 2002 at 00:00

Charles Clarke and Ken Boston really do have their work cut out if they are to save the QCA from self-destruction.

It's not just the A level fiasco. Time after time we see evidence that the QCA bureaucrats work in their own little boxes, apparently insulated even from those in the offices next door, let alone those of us who actually work in education.

The latest example is the new Progress Tests for Year 7 pupils who didn't achieve "the expected level" at the end of Year 6.nbsp;

QCA have acknowledged that the Key Stage 2 SATs are not the appropriate vehicle for testing these pupils' progress during Year 7, and have replaced them with specially-written Progress Tests.nbsp;

These are non-statutory, and are supposed to help schools assess the progress the pupils have made in literacy and numeracy during Year 7 and to prepare appropriate teaching programmes for Year 8.

A little detail in the latest information on these tests says that schools will receive the results of these test by the middle of September!

Presumably we are meant to put the teaching programmes for Year 8 pupils on hold until we receive their results?nbsp; Are we meant to delay organising our Year 8 teaching sets until then as well?nbsp;

QCA have even made the rules so that once a school has agreed to take the tests, without knowing the details like when the results will be available, they can't then withdraw.

Can the QCA be saved?nbsp; Is it worth saving?nbsp; Answers on a postcard to Charles Clarke please.

Tony Toubkin
Deputy Headteacher
Heysham High School

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