Headteachers support their teachers, not because they fear 'disaffected colleagues growling in the staffroom', but because they accept the powerful professional case that those colleagues have made. Preparing pupils for these tests would divert time, effort and resources from teaching pupils in the year before they start GCSE courses.
The tests do not assess pupils' national curriculum progress; they test a crude 'mini-curriculum' that has little to do with real education. This is a view, incidentally, strongly shared by many maths, science and technology teachers about their own tests.
A national pilot of tests already shown to be irrelevant would be pointless. What is needed is greater trust in teachers' professional competence to assess their pupils. We are not, in spite of your terminology, at 'war'.
SISTER MARY CLUDERAY
Notre Dame High School
22 JanuaryReuse content