Finally the Chocolate Teapot speaks - "Stop the tests" says the General Teaching Council

The General Teaching Council, widely regarded as some sort of chocolate teapot that does nothing at all for teachers, has got of its backside and produced a report that says that the SAT's tests for under 16's should be scrapped and replaced by ongoing assessment from teachers.

For one, I am in completely in agreement with the GTC on this. Government tests at age 7 are informal assessment by the teacher based on a number of pieces of work. Why this isn't the case of children aged 11, I don't know. I have a boy in my class who is 12 years of age, is very able, his books show how well he is doing yet in last year's SAT's, he was unwell and produced what was for him a poor piece of work. Should he really have four years of school judged on a test ?

For 16 year olds we have moved away from single exams and include more coursework yet for 11 year olds the opposite is true.

My guess is that it will take a government brave enough to trust Ofsted and the inspections that are carried out in order to scrap tests. Government's like statistics and targets and for all their faults, of which there are many, SAT's tests give politicians plenty of statistics and a chance to beat teachers over and over.


David Allen said...

N, there is nothing wrong with the testing, simply the vast state bureaucracy that is built up around them _ they've been nationalised! Surely you cannot be suggesting that tests are done away with for under-16s altogether? At my comp, we had tests in every subject at the end of every year. These were set and marked by the school and the results noted in the end-of-year report to parents. It seemed like a sensible way to round off the academic year. And the tide is turning AGAINST coursework now, with many state schools wanting to offer 'International GCSEs' like private schools do _ and the govt. is considering paying the exam costs for these. Why? because they can't be rigged. Coursework based exams will always favour girls over boys and middleclass children over poorer ones/ those from a less education-friendly family background. No surprise then, that it is workingclass boys who are most alienated by the education system.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Of course it does not mean the end of testing. Ongoing testing, assessemnta re done each and every term at my school, but they are done in the contect of assessing a child's achievements and setting targets for learning, not as some national way of collating statistics.

People seem to thnink that before SAT's and national testing that no school ever did testing.

The problem is that school have to spend several thousand pounds each year on test papers from the QCA and EDEXCEL, which could be spent on other things.