Letters extra: Stretching children

29th June 2001 at 01:00

Regarding the current debate over testing (or over-testing), I could not disagree more with the notion that UK children undergo too many tests.

As a Conservative spokesperson on education once famously remarked, repeated national tests are essential because "children need to be stretched and measured against each other". She wasn't joking!

Of course, we all know that if a child is too short for its age, the answer is to keep measuring it - and reminding it that everyone is so much taller. Children who still stubbornly refuse to grow properly (i.e. to at least the average number of centimetres) will cause their school to come LOWER in the league table (lack of stature results in lack of status). In extreme cases a school could even be put under Special Measurers!

So, what ought to happen is that these recalcitrant shorties should be segregated in the Special Tallness Unit - STU - they can STU until they show Height Advancement (HA!). There they would be mentored and monitored by the SS (Special Stretching) team and rigorously prepared for the Progress in Measurement Test (or PMT). This system would be known as apart height. You know it makes sense! (Or does it?)

Peter Tallon

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