Who benefits? Not the children

6th June 1997 at 01:00
A correspondent asks "Who benefits from the tests?", meaning the Key Stage 2 (TES, May 23). Politicians do because it makes it seem that they "are doing something". Journalists do because the subsequent league tables provide pages of copy with very little effort. The "shame a school" brigade certainly benefits because the national tests provide lots of spurious information with which to label schools as bottom of the league.

Teachers do not benefit because the tests tell them nothing that they don't already know. Pupils certainly don't benefit because the tests have no diagnostic or planning gains which would compensate for the loss of learning time.

However, the situation could easily be resolved if Year 6 parents decided that their children were at school to receive an education and that they did not want their children to waste valuable time doing tests which will not benefit their children in the least.

DENNIS CHARMAN

62 Cobbold Road London W12

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