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Letter: What's testing got to do with it?

I AM disturbed that Brian Cox (Letters, 2 May) is preoccupied with the testing implications of the National Curriculum Council's proposals for the new English curriculum.

In revising the curriculum, NCC exercised curriculum judgements to ensure that every child has the opportunity to speak, write and read confidently, fluently and accurately. All our children should be able to speak Standard English as part of their social and professional development and should be introduced from an early age to the basic conventions of correct vocabulary and grammar. We are not talking about the subtle intricacies of linguistic theory, nor do our proposals undermine regional accents or dialects.

None of this has anything to do with testing. Indeed, it is because of the limitations of the current English curriculum, particularly in defining the framework for literature, that this summer's English tests for 14-year-olds are in such difficulties.

David L Pascall

Former chairman

National Curriculum Council

London EC2