Test reforms for primary pupils win over teachers
A compromise package of reforms to controversial national curriculum tests for 11-year-olds appeared last night to have headed off the threat of a teachers' boycott next year.
A Government-appointed review panel recommended scrapping tests in creative writing because teachers drilled their pupils for it – thus losing any element of creativity. Instead, teachers will assess their pupils on their creative ability on writing done throughout their final year of primary school.
A tougher test in spelling, grammar and punctuation will be introduced; previously, only spelling was tested outside of the creative writing tests. Maths tests for the 600,000 children who sit the tests every year will stay as they are, as will reading.
The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and the National Union of Teachers, which both boycotted the tests last year, gave a cautious welcome to the proposals, describing them as "a positive milestone on the way to a fairer, smarter assessment regime".
Russell Hobby, NAHT general secretary, added: "This will reduce drilling and give both parents and secondary schools a far more accurate picture of pupils' achievements."
However, Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers, said the inquiry had "ducked the issue and come up with a fudge".
Lord Bew, who headed the inquiry, said: "This major shift will ensure pupils can become more creative and overcome teachers teaching to the test." But he added: "The main criticism is not the tests but the way the data is used [in league tables], so we believe any changes need to start with the accountability system."
On league tables, the panel recommended a new measure giving a rolling average of schools' performance over three years to run alongside the annual test scores.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said: "Their [the panel's] recommendations represent an educationally sound approach while taking account of different opinions."
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in Paris
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2014: Briton critically injured in San Fermin festival
Elephant 'cries' while being rescued after 50 years of abuse in India
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
£90 - £130 per day + competitive rates, pension scheme: Randstad Education Man...
£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Manchester Primary: Key Stage 1 Teache...
£120 - £140 per day + ?DOE: Randstad Education Maidstone: SEN Teacher Kent
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are looking fo...