Primary Sats debate and a question of accountability

15th May 2009 at 01:00

The recommendation of the "assessment experts" are a disgrace for three reasons.

First, their approach to science tests. Our data has already shown that science is being taught less and less while the Government bemoans the lack of scientists - so what will retaining maths and English tests do to teaching time for science?

The same longitudinal data has shown the huge skewing of the curriculum in favour of tested subjects. The Government's agents are now indicating the primacy of two of those subjects, so expect even more imbalance.

Finally, it encourages further piloting of when-ready tests. If this means the already dubious single level tests, get ready for multiple testing "windows", year-round teaching to the tests, and even more confusing messages to parents.

Professor Bill Boyle, Chair, Educational Assessment, School of Education, University of Manchester.

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