Letter: Teacher anger over testing

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The Independent Online
Sir: One of the reasons for pursuing the introduction of tests for 14-year- olds was explained at a recent teacher conference by the Secretary of State for Education as being to identify that 30 per cent of pupils who have difficulty with English, so that they might receive expert support and remediation. This surprised me, for I thought that any competent teacher would have identified such children within a few hours of first teaching them, and both primary and secondary schools would have provided specialist support as a matter of course. Waiting until the pupils were 14 years old, as he appears to suggest, seems inappropriate.

Now either John Patten believes in what he is saying, or he does not. Either way, I am not sure that Education is currently in safe hands.

Your faithfully,


Fatfield, Tyne & Wear

8 April