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."
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...
£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...