This week, teachers in Wales bid a not-so-fond farewell to compulsory Sats -ending a 15-year era of national exams at seven, 11 and 14. A TES Cymru poll earlier this year showed Welsh teachers overwhelmingly in favour of the change. So their colleagues in England, especially those outraged at what they see as another key stage 3 English test fiasco last week, will be baffled to learn that more than half of Welsh Year 6 teachers still chose to test their pupils, though they did not have to this year.
What is going on? Doesn't this undermine the case against testing? Not really. With no pressure to publish results for league tables, teachers are saying why not, the information might come in handy. Some KS3 teachers see them as a chance to practise for GCSE. While many revel in the liberation, there's a silent majority of schools still wanting guidance and support.