The best way to review the effectiveness of a policy is to track its impact over a long period of time. That’s why NUT Cymru has been conducting a member’s survey each year following the implementation of the standardised literacy and numeracy tests in Wales.
When the tests were first introduced we wanted to find out what the profession thought and so we asked you directly. This year’s survey gives us a fourthyear of figures to compare. Depressingly, if unsurprisingly, they are consistent in their concerns.
97.5% of respondents did not believe the tests were a positive experience for pupils. This has always been a staggeringly high figure in response to this questions, but it is actually up 4% from the original survey, showing that rather than being won over teachers opposing these tests have a growing sense of frustration.
The workload of those tests are also on the rise. 29% of teachers said they had been preparing pupils for over 4 weeks. That’s up from 10% on the first year of testing. Overall 86% of teachers felt the tests had added to their workloads, up 7.5%.
One further aspect of these tests is how they have impacted on the relationships schools have with parents. In 2012, 33% of teachers said they received contact from parents in relation to the assessments and that these were almost exclusively negative. This year’s results showed that the figure was now 56% with the majority stating it remained negative or mixed at best. Clearly this issue is no longer a school specific concern but one at a wider community level.