When-ready tests

Patrick Yarker

Anthony Seldon's paean commends Ed Balls for, among other things, "the move away from key-stage testing" (TES, January 11). I suppose it is naive to expect those who help maintain class inequalities by working in the private sector to know what they are talking about in matters concerning state schools. But surely a sub-editor's blue pencil might have saved your masterly columnist's blushes?

The former public schoolboy and current Schools Secretary is overseeing a pilot project whose outcome may entail the replacement of end-of-key-stage testing with testing-when-ready. The result will be more testing rather than less, and a continued disregard for teacher assessment - at least, these are the likely consequences for state schools. Public schools can ignore the regime of so-called national testing with impunity - and most do.

Patrick Yarker, Doctoral student, School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of East Anglia, and teacher in comprehensive schools for 20 years.

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Patrick Yarker

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