Scrap testing at 14, say heads
Sunday 25 April 1999
The Secondary Heads Association said the national curriculum tests for 14-year-olds - known as Keystage 3 - offer little useful information to schools and do nothing to tell parents about their children's progress.
John Dunford, SHA General Secretary, said the tests in English, maths and science had simply replaced schools' own internal exams which he said gave teachers much more reliable information.
He claimed the tests distracted children from the real goal of getting good GCSE results and cut into valuable teaching time.
Mr Dunford, a head teacher for 20 years, told heads at their annual conference in Brighton: "I have always regarded Key-stage 3 tests as a complete waste of public money."
Children came to secondary school having already taken national tests at 11, he said. "We educate them, we assess their progress, we educate them some more and then we test them again, keeping our eye on the longer goal of qualifications at 16 or beyond.
"Keystage 3 tests are an irrelevance in this continuous process of learning and assessment. It is time the Government abolished them and spent the money on something more worthwhile."
The tests caused huge controversy when they were introduced by the Conservatives and provoked a national boycott by schools. But while national tests for 11-year-olds form the basis of primary school league tables, school-by- school test results for 14-year-olds are not published nationally.
The tests have been cited as a possible basis for creating so-called value-added measures to determine how well schools teach different types of pupils, but the Government was forced to abandon plans to introduce an "improvement measure" in last autumn's league tables based on a comparison of GCSEs and Keystage 3 tests after many heads condemned the proposal as fundamentally flawed.
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...