Letter: Teacher anger over testing

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The Independent Online
Sir: I wish to raise two points concerning Judith Judd's article ('Patten fails to sway teachers', 8 April) on John Patten's speech to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers' conference.

First, teachers are not angry because the tests are 'too bureaucratic and complicated'. English teachers, in particular, are angry because the tests they are being asked to administer do not adequately reflect the richness and depth of the curriculum they have been working with for the past three years. In the context of the prominence given to league tables and comparisons between schools by the present government, teachers are worried that narrow tests will lead to a narrower curriculum.

Second, if the testing boycott goes ahead, classrooms will not face a 'summer of turmoil'. Without the disruptions to teaching brought about by preparation for the tests, and with the extra time available because teachers will not be marking them, classrooms will be calmer and more productive places. Teachers will be able to get on with the business of delivering the national curriculum and preparing their Year 9 students for the beginnings of their GCSE courses.

Yours faithfully,

JOHN MANNION

Head of English

Bramhall High School

Stockport

8 April

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