Review offers teachers more class freedom: Patten to hear options for curriculum revision

A SHAKE-UP of national curriculum testing and a greater say for teachers in testing and what is taught are being planned by government advisers.

Sir Ron Dearing, who heads the Government's curriculum and assessment review set up in April, is due to deliver his interim report to John Patten, Secretary of State for Education, at the end of next week.

The options in his report are expected to include:

Replacement of the present 10-level scale on which all pupils are placed at the ages of 7, 11 and 14;

Making only English, maths, science and perhaps a modern language compulsory after 14 (at present, pupils must also study technology, physical education, history or geography, or short courses in both);

Giving teachers more freedom to choose what they teach by cutting down the compulsory material in each subject;

Taking into account teacher assessment in test marks (at present, external test marks override teacher assessment).

Sir Ron was appointed after protests from teachers that testing was too time-consuming and the curriculum overloaded. Ministers hope he will extricate them from the controversy which led to a successful test boycott by the three biggest teacher unions this summer.

He has to satisfy ministers who believe teacher assessment is unreliable and teachers who would like their own assessments to predominate.

His interim report draws no conclusions but will put forward options. These include retaining the 10-level scale, which many critics blame for the system's complexity, improving it or introducing new arrangements. The new arrangements would still test at the ages of 7, 11 and 14 and would take the GCSE at 16, but instead of being placed on a 'level' they would be graded from A to E as they are in the GCSE exam.

The standard required for a C might be specified and perhaps also for an A and an E. The review group has been working on examples showing how it might apply in English.

Sir Ron has also examined how to combine teacher assessment and external testing, as happens in the GCSE exam. In most GCSE subjects, between 20 and 40 per cent of marks go to teacher-assessed coursework. A similar combination might be used in testing younger pupils.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Systems and Network Support Analyst

£26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

Recruitment Genius: IT Systems Support Analyst

£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

£20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker / Trainee Broker / Closer - OTE £250,000

£30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker/ Trainee FX, Stoc...

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests