Joint NASUWT/NUT Position – Literacy And Numeracy Tests
The literacy and numeracy framework (LNF) is now statutory for pupils in Wales from reception to year 9, with assessment against the LNF a requirement since September 2014. Data from the tests is collected and analysed nationally, marking an unwelcome return to national testing for the first time since Wales dropped SATs in 2004. The NUT is fundamentally opposed on educational grounds to testing of this type and has repeatedly raised its concerns at Ministerial level.
The reading and numeracy tests were introduced in May 2013, with improving literacy and numeracy made statutory for all subjects – not just English, Welsh and maths – from ages five to 14. The Union is, of course, committed to ensuring our children get the best education, but NUT Cymru Secretary David Evans has expressed concern that teachers are being asked “to do more with less”. Welsh schools are already battling a funding gap of £604 a year between pupils in Wales and their counterparts in England according to the latest available figures.
The Union remains worried about the workload implications for members in delivering the LNF and the associated testing, alongside other initiatives, without adequate time for training and preparation. We have raised these concerns with the Education Minister. Additionally, we have continued to have discussions with those charged with implementing the testing regime in future regarding the content and delivery of the tests.
Survey’s conducted by the union show first-hand the damaging impacts these tests are having in our classrooms. Some of the headline figures from the survey conducted following the 2014 tests were that:
- 96% of teachers do not think the tests have been a positive experience for pupils.
- 70% do not believe the tests are consistent with the curriculum.
- 90% do not believe the tests have provided new information about pupils.
- 82% say workload is up as a result of the tests.
- 87% do not believe that the tests will lead to improved pupil attainment.
- 87% say tests have impacted negatively on pupil stress levels.
Clear instructions regarding the tests can be found here and full details have been e-mailed school representative. If you become aware of any breach of these instructions please contact your local divisional secretary or NUT Cymru at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: 02920 491818
Wales - School Banding
Fair play for children in Wales
NUT Briefing on Pay, Pensions and Education Spending in Wales
This briefing shows how the Westminster Government's spending review will affect Wales and how the Welsh Assembly Government's Budget for 2011-12 will affect Welsh schools and their students. The Holtham Commission had already confirmed that Wales was underfunded. Following a settlement reduction in Wales funding, it is inevitable that schools will continue to suffer.
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NUT wins assurances but funding gap widens
The NUT Cymru campaign demanding Fair Play for Children in Wales has made a significant impact on the indefensible disparity in funding provision between Wales and England.
"I want to make sure that we spend the right amount of money on education, so I am making a commitment in this manifesto to spend 1% above the block grant every year until we reach a situation where we have parity of funding per head of pupil in England." Carwyn Jones First Minister for Wales
"I want to see more funding going to schools." Leighton Andrews Education Minister
These commitments are welcome. However, the gap in per pupil funding between England and Wales has widened to £604, according to last available figures published in January 2011. No doubt this gap is wider still today. We are calling on the Welsh Government to close the funding gap now. If the First Minister is to deliver on his pledge there needs to be a greater increase in spend than the promised one per cent above the block grant.
What you can do to help
We are now asking all school representatives to set up campaign groups in their schools and ask all teachers to get involved. Please also encourage all members to go to www.teachers.org.uk/walesfunding to sign our petition. If there are teachers in your school who are not yet members of the NUT, please encourage them to join. They can join online at https://www.teachers.org.uk or by phoning our joining hotlines on 0845 300 1669 or 020 7380 6369.
Let's make 2011 the year that we achieve "Fair Play for Children in Wales".
Please support our campaign for 'Fair Play for children in Wales'. Here is a quick and easy way in which you can show your support: sign our online petition on behalf of the children of Wales.
Fair Play for Children in Welsh leaflet A5 (English and Welsh versions)