Nonsense words spell a nonsensical future

14th January 2011 at 00:00

I sincerely hope that the Year 1 phonics test won't ask children to decode 40 words ("Phonics expert labels Year 1 test plans 'a waste of money'", January 7).

Using an adaptive test would show if a child had met the required standard within five to 20 questions. This would also avoid a serious ethical issue associated with the "one test fits all" approach. If, for example, the teacher conducting the test finds that a child can't read the first five words, should they carry on, knowingly setting the child up for a further 35 failures? I'd call that unprofessional conduct.

George Bethell, Director, Anglia Assessment, Stowmarket.

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