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Trips get go-ahead but tests are still on

THE GOOD news is that dozens of threatened school trips can go ahead next summer. The bad news is that pupils will still have to sit their national tests when they get back.

Pupils who are signed up to go on expensive field trips which clash with next year's national tests may be allowed to sit the papers later than those elsewhere.

Teachers who booked field trips to coincide with the end of next summer's national tests were horrified to find themselves double-booked when, earlier this year, ministers announced they had delayed the tests to give pupils more revision time.

Next year's tests are to be a week later than planned after concerns that a late Easter holiday would hinder schools' preparation. However, some were left facing cancellation fees of up to pound;1,000.

Now the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has asked headteachers facing a date clash to apply to have the test dates for their school changed.

Only schools that can prove their trip was booked after July 20 - when they were notified of the date change - will be allowed to take the tests later. They must also show that the trip cannot be rescheduled. They should write to the Principal Manager, Test Development and Administration, QCA, 29 Bolton Street, London W1Y 7PD.

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