Letters extra: Tests and league tables

30th May 2003 at 01:00
I am a primary headteacher and I believe firmly in tests. However, the monster that has been created is helping no one.

The objective of the tests must be to help our children. The answer is quite simple. Set NFER maths and English tests in Year 6.(These test are straightforward, easily marked and all that was ever needed). Do not test science as the system is killing the interest in the subject - proven! Let all Primary schools set their own tests for younger age groups prior to that.

All pupils who fall below the average score to receive intensive help during their final term and during the Summer holidays prior to KS3 entrance. The funding should be going into such help and not into unnecessary mountains of QCA paperwork, parcel force collections, training and payment for thousands of markers, data collection, jobs for writers of tests, unncessary courses... (I could go on).

The Sats tests used now contain ambiguous, drawn out, irrelevant questions. Countries around the world, along with our public schools, have continued to use simple tests covering basic skills and their results speak for themselves.

Scrap performance tables, as they do not contribute to the objective of helping the children. Schools should always have results available and parents could request them and make their own comparisons.

Stop wasting millions of pounds, diverting energy and avoiding the issue of helping the children.
Yvonne Beston
Hillside Primary School
Orpington

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