Sats time is up

15th April 2005 at 01:00
One-and-a-half cheers for Qualification and Curriculum Authority chief Ken Boston. He has proposed scrapping key stage tests, replacing them with teacher assessment (TES, April 1).

Why one-and-a half cheers? He says such change may be "10 years away" and still supports league tables.

England is now alone in the UK in its dogmatic attachment to this flawed, expensive and distorting regime. Every school now understands the way in which Sats disrupt education for months of the year, crippling learning.

Every school also knows that the marking system is now a ship about as safe as the Titanic after hitting the iceberg.

It is time to have the courage to ditch the whole sorry system and concentrate on developing a rich, invigorating curriculum based on reading for pleasure. Teacher assessment, administered by staff freed from remorseless monitoring and target-setting, is the way forward.

Alan Gibbons Co-ordinator Authors Against the Sats Address supplied

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