School reports to be simplified

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SCHOOL reports should contain much simpler information about children's progress through the national curriculum, ministers proposed yesterday.

But parents in England and Wales should also be given national comparisons of the tests for seven-year-olds and examination results at GCSE and A-level.

The announcement by Baroness Blatch, the Minister of State for Education, is in line with the Government's plans to publish league tables of schools' examination results as essential information for parents. It is also an admission that the immensely detailed assessments of pupils' performance at each stage of the national curriculum will have to be simplified.

The promise of clearer, simpler information for parents was welcomed by the Assistant Masters and Mistresses Association which said it would also mean less bureaucratic form-filling for teachers.

The so-called 'profile components' detailing what children are expected to learn have been dropped from maths and science and will not be introduced into reports on other subjects except English and technology.

Lady Blatch said: 'These new regulations will provide parents, pupils, schools and future employers with the necessary information to make informed choices.'

Parents will be told the proportion of pupils nationally who reach each level in the SATs (Standard Assessment Tasks) taken at age seven, 14 and soon 11. Reports will give proportions of pupils achieving various grades at GCSE and the average points score of candidates at A-level.

All schools will be required to provide leavers with a final report including their achievements in the national curriculum and examination results.

In the case of children moving to other schools a report to the new head teacher will follow each child, setting out the levels reached in national curriculum assessments at all schools they have attended.

The Government wants schools to issue reports on final-year pupils or those taking examinations after the examinations and not before as some do at present.

The National Union of Teachers criticised the proposals as 'hopelessly inadequate'. A spokesman said: 'Parents will want to know much more than the national curriculum score and national average.'