Set your own targets, says NAS

7th August 1998 at 01:00
Members of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers have been advised to trust their own judgment over the Government's controversial target-setting initiative.

A union bulletin for the start of the new session says teachers are under no obligation to adjust predictions about a pupil to suit performance targets. That would be "a reprehensibly unprofessional act and members are strongly advised not to be involved in this or anything like it".

In particular, 5-14 grades cannot be used for target-setting, the union says.

Pupils should still be tested when they are ready to move from one level to another, as set out in the Government's Framework for National Testing. "Unless and until the Scottish Office withdraws this document and instructs schools to progress 5-14 as the diktat of the target-setting initiative, schools must continue to plan and execute" tests on the basis of the framework document.

The union is afraid that teachers will be asked to connive in artificially inflating pass rates. It suggests that if such a suggestion is made, "the teacher should accept it courteously, file it in an appropriate place and continue with teaching based on their own expertise and professionalism.

"If the imposed targets are overtaken in this way, well and good. If not, well and good again."

Leader, page 10

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