The Welsh spirit of enquiry
So Wales is taking a bold step - scrapping the Sats and phasing in a system of moderated teacher assessment at 11 and 14. There will be skills tests in Year 5, mapped against national curriculum subjects, meant to help teachers pinpoint children's learning needs and improve transition to secondary school.
The intentions are good; what sort of road they pave remains to be seen.
Officials and politicians in England now have the luxury of peering over the border and watching what happens before considering anything similar.
Or do they? Are English policy-makers allowed to ask the sort of open-ended questions that are being studied in Wales? Only behind closed doors. They genuinely want more creative learning in schools, with assessment that helps children move forward, but are not allowed to think about alternatives to high-stakes tests at 11 and 14. Where is the debate on testing and assessment in England? Well, in 14 to 19 education where Mike Tomlinson's committee is asking what education for that age group is for.
Isn't that what we need for primary education? Notoriously, 21st century Britain still has what is essentially a Victorian elementary education system. Shouldn't we be getting back to the basics and asking fundamental questions about how to prepare 21st-century citizens? Fifteen years into the reign of the national curriculum, it's time for a major inquiry.