Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Misery Week

Next week is the most miserable one in the English school calendar. Welcome to SATs week (somehow National Curriculum Tests doesn’t have the same ring to it).

You can tell what’s impending from the taught, nervous faces of the Heads, Year 6 teachers and the SEN children who know they won’t get the magic ‘Level 4’ – ‘I’m thick sir, I’m a Level 3’.

Professor Alan Smithers has spoken out recently and labelled some schools, ‘exam factories’. He also said, “scores are not the product of education in the way that cars, barrels of oil and tins of baked beans are for their industries; schools are there to benefit the children in them. It is an approach that has led the government to value only what can be measured.”

The DfES produced their usual Dalek-like response, “They are a non-negotiable part of school reform. They provide valuable objective evidence in the core subjects, helping inform further improvements to teaching and learning. This is an important part of our drive to raise standards in the basics even further in primary schools.”

Is there any point in voting for a party that consistently tail-ends the Daily Mail on practically every policy?

I’m writing a longer piece on SATs next week. How to stop SATs? I’ve got an idea…


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