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Private heads attack tests

(First Edition)

HEADS representing leading fee-paying schools yesterday backed their colleagues in the state sector and urged ministers to abandon plans for nationally administered testing.

Robin Wilson, chairman of the Headmasters' Conference and Joan Jefferson, president of the Girls' Schools Association, said schools should be required to administer their own tests according to a government code. Schools' own tests should then be scrutinised by schools inspectors. But they confirmed that many private schools will be trialling the Government's tests even though they are under no legal obligation to carry them out.

Mr Wilson said he doubted whether tests at 14 were necessary at all in good schools.