Talk, don't pay

14th July 1995 at 01:00
Before submitting any "rogue" key stage 3 English test scripts back to the marking agency, ask yourself if it really is worth it? In doing this "innocent" act, we are - ironically - raising the status of the tests, and we must continually remind ourselves, parents, governors and senior management teams that the test results only form part of the picture and that teacher assessment has equal status and validity, and should be reported to parents in that way.

There may be lots of discussion in many a charmed circle (including The TES) about the tests, but if teachers are to gain control of the curriculum, we must give teacher assessment a voice.

So before you spend your budget on re-mark fees, think carefully about the significance of tests at KS3 as part of the whole educational experience. Receiving a level 5 rather than a level 6 will not prevent entrance to Oxbridge or deny access to GCSE. Unlike public exams, they do not affect life-chances. It would be very foolish for any school simply to use test results as the basis for setting in Year 10.

My advice would be to leave the dust to gather on the 1995 scripts and think more critically about the future. We must begin to form local networks, liaising with feeder primaries to moderate coursework thoroughly. We should be asking for supply cover for time off so that pupils' work receives the attention it deserves.

KEVIN MORRIS Head of English The Bradbourne School Sevenoaks, Kent

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today