Talking point

23rd May 2003 at 01:00
The TES asked teachers for their views on the relaxation of targets in the new primary strategy.

Stephen Dainty, head of St Joseph's Catholic primary, Birkenhead, Wirral:

"It's a move in the right direction, but it's not anywhere near as far as I want to go. I would like to see the abandonment of testing altogether. I'm disappointed targets have only been postponed. They should have been abandoned. We accept the need to challenge children, but the best people to do this are our schools. Thank you Charles Clarke, but it's not enough."

Eileen Bissell, Year 6 teacher at Highgate primary, Dudley:

"Proposals to change testing again will upset the balance and cause confusion. I think we'll get a lot of moans. The only thing that would be well received would be to completely abolish end-of-key-stage testing."

Jill Barrett, deputy head of Clarendon junior school, Wiltshire: "It's a step in the right direction.

But I would have liked the Government to get rid of league tables and abolish all targets. I have been working every morning since Christmas with Year 6 pupils, doing maths, English and science, instead of creative work. It's published league tables that create this pressure."

Steven Cottrell, head of Year 6 at King's Park primary, Bournemouth:

"Internal target-setting is a wonderful thing in theory. The problem is finding the time to review and evaluate targets with individual pupils in an over-full curriculum. But personal, not general, targets are needed."

Jenny Higson, Year 2 teacher Claypool primary, Bolton:

"I don't think testing is a bad thing, as long as the child is not stressed. But it will be beneficial to have more say in when and how we organise the tests. One of the difficulties is having to fit in Sats at the beginning of May, when we have just come back to school."

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