Near misses

26th July 1996 at 01:00
Jeff Price (TES, July 5) misunderstands the "award" of level 3 in the key stage 3 English tests. The tests target levels 4-7 and pupils who are at level 3 should be entered for the classroom based tasks rather than the tests. The award of level 3 from the tests is there simply as a near-miss award for a pupil who narrowly fails to to gain enough marks for a level 4. A pupil who receives a mark in the minus 3 band should really not have been entered for the test in the first place.

DAVID HAWKER Assistant chief executive School Curriculum and Assessment Authority Newcombe House 45 Notting Hill Gate London W11

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