22 April 2016
Commenting on the news that Schools Minister Nick Gibb has cancelled the Key Stage 1 spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) tests after their accidental publication online by the Standards and Testing Agency, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“Following the government's U-turn over the baseline assessment of reception children, this is another blow to an assessment system which is over-centralised, mismanaged and incapable of supporting children's learning.
“Nick Gibb has now been forced to make significant improvised changes at every level of the system - from reception to Key Stage 2 -that he introduced, against the weight of professional opinion, at the start of the school year.
“It is no longer possible to claim that we have a robust assessment system that can track pupil progress from 4 to 11, nor that schools can be held to account on the basis of reliable data.
“There is every reason to cancel the whole programme of primary assessment for 2016, and to begin again, with genuine consultation on proposals that can command the support of teachers and parents”.