My education wish for 2013

11th January 2013 at 00:00

This year will be the 25th anniversary of the Education Reform Act, which brought in the national curriculum in England. Sadly, what was intended to be a "broad and balanced entitlement curriculum" providing a progressive structure and opportunities for all pupils to develop as learners has degenerated into a means for ranking pupils and schools.

Both the main political parties are equally to blame. The Thatcher administration quickly reduced teacher-based assessment to a subsidiary role, powerless against the publicity accorded to Sats levels. Tony Blair, sensing political capital, further disempowered teachers by introducing a "this is how, what and when you will teach" set of strategies designed to "ramp up" test scores in the so-called "basics".

Further tinkering is ensuing under England's education secretary, Michael Gove, all with the same focus - improving scores in tests.

My wish for 2013 is that those involved in policy decisions affecting the learning opportunities, progress and ultimately life chances of pupils address the issue of deregulation: deregulating teachers from delivering test-focused lessons and deregulating pupils from being passive recipients, required to deliver acceptable prescribed outcomes for measurement purposes.

Professor Bill Boyle, chairman of educational assessment, University of Manchester.

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