Threshold dooms tests to failure

SHOCK, horror - writing still lags behind reading at key stage 2.

It's hardly surprising though, when apart from the obvious difficulty of encoding as opposed to decoding, grappling with a foreign language (that is, written formality as opposed to spoken colloquialisms), marking thresholds doom writing to failure. Talk about an unequal playing field.

For those who have had time to look, in order to obtain the magical level 4 a student needs to attain from 18 to 31 marks out of a possible 50 in reading, whereas in writing the range is 31 to 38. Is it assumed that non-mathematicians might not notice this disparity?

Judith Puddick Adviser with responsibility for literacy, education and lifelong learning Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue Southend-on-Sea, Essex

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