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They said...

We have stressed that test preparation should be kept to an absolute minimum (Department for Education and Skills)

WE SAY...

Many will find the DfES's assertion at odds with reality.

Guidance on the department's standards website says that key stage 2 test preparation should begin in January, four months before the tests.

It says that teachers should ensure that plenty of test questions are integrated into lessons, discuss the test mark schemes with pupils and set test homework and revision classes over Easter.

The key stage 3 strategy has also produced 328 page "booster pack" guidance for English tests in which "borderline" pupils are given detailed model answers and repeatedly advised to get inside examiners' heads.

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