NUT News special on Assessment
The Government’s removal of Key Stage 3 tests opens up very real possibilities for the reform of National Curriculum assessment.
Teachers and parents believe it is unfair for primary schools to bear the burden of a system which undermines children’s learning and confidence and narrows the curriculum by encouraging teaching to the test.
The NUT and NAHT have set out our alternative vision. We call for:
- the Government’s Expert Group to conduct a thorough and independent review of National Curriculum assessment;
- 2009 Key Stage 1 and 2 tests to be voluntary for schools;
- teacher assessment to provide the basis for National Curriculum assessment for 2010 onwards;
- a national bank of assessment tasks to be available to teachers to draw down when they assess pupils’ learning;
- a national sampling system to be introduced to provide information about national standards;
- the abolition of school performance tables;
- a wider review of current ways of evaluating schools;
- an examination of how pupils’ achievement can be properly recognised.
Christine Blower, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said:
“I see no reason why the Government in England should not adopt our joint proposals. Against all the evidence, it is clinging to an outdated system which discourages innovation and inhibits children and teachers alike.We want the annual round of schools being expected to jump through hoops to end. Teachers want to concentrate on their teaching and pupils on their learning.”
Mick Brookes, General Secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, said:
“We are pleased that the Government hasmoved froma position where tests and tables were not for discussion, to a position where secondary tests have been abolished and there is a review about the way that children are assessed. The proposals outlined by the NAHT and NUT provide a robust and professional way forward.”