Sunday, June 10, 2007

BBC NEWS | Education | Call to scrap tests for under-16s

BBC NEWS | Education | Call to scrap tests for under-16s

I can't help but sympathise with this call, for many reasons. For a kick-off I come from a family of teachers who have taught at every level from primary school to teaching Master degrees in Education (teaching the teachers). My Grandfather, my father, my mother and now my sister are, or have been at some point, teachers. So I've heard a fair bit in my time about the curriculum, testing and child development in every respect.

Secondly, my own experience of a childhood that was blissfully free of exams until I hit secondary school tells me that is not essential for all kids to be examined at every opportunity in order to flourish.

And finally, as the report says, the use of the league tables to determine "success" and direct funding tends to lead to teachers training the kids to pass tests rather than giving them a rounded education.

It's not that there is no place for assessment or even exams, but the pendulum has swung too far one way in my opinion. Perhaps it is about to swing back.