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What the teachers think of the plan

Lesley Bulmer, Year 6 teacher at Kennington Primary, Preston in Lancashire, said it would be "absolutely criminal" to force subjects such as art and music out of the primary curriculum to make way for a foreign language. "What about the children who shine at art and music?" she asked. "How can we take this away from them?"

Gerard Dummett, head of maths at The Causeway School at Eastbourne, East Sussex, helped pilot the new single-level tests. "The potential advantage is that we can assess pupils when they are ready; the reality is that it will create more pressure: parents asking why they have not been entered."

David Tuck, head of Dallow Primary in Luton, Bedfordshire, said more public services in schools would create new challenges for heads. "There needs to be someone on site with an overview."

Sean O'Sullivan, head of Frank Wise School for children with learning difficulties at Banbury in Oxfordshire, welcomed the promise to improve the quality of special needs teaching, but said: "A few twilight sessions and a DVD will not be enough."

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