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Test time for inspectors

Inspectors should set tests for pupils as part of their investigations into the quality of teaching in schools, according to the latest pamphlet from the right-wing Adam Smith Institute.

Anthony Flew, an emeritus professor of philosophy at Reading University and one of the authors of the Black Papers, wants the independent inspection teams contracted by the Office for Standards in Education to test pupils as part of the process of reporting on schools. Professor Flew says inspection can be harmful if teachers are rated unsatisfactory because they are not teaching in an approved way.

The pamphlet, Class Action, also proposes that all school leavers should sit basic literacy and numeracy tests. He claims substantial numbers of pupils leave school without any independent written evidence to show what educational benefit they have derived from 11 years of compulsory schooling.

* Class Action: the immediate agenda for education reform is published by the Adam Smith Institute.

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