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They said ..

'Some people, including some parents, take tests far too seriously'. Charles Clarke, former education secretary

We say ...

Indeed some people do. But it is disingenuous of Mr Clarke to point the finger at parents, as he did in The Independent this week.

In March 2003, while he was education secretary, he said: "It is of fundamental importance to the whole of your future life whether you get the test level 4 or not."

He went on to say that, if this focus was relaxed, "we really will be letting down the pupils of this country".

Faced with this government position, it is hard to imagine how far those teachers and parents who take tests "far too seriously" would have to go. There are people possibly who consider test failure a capital offence, but it would be unfair to blame them - rather than the politicians - for the national target culture in schools.

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