The Conservatives to scrap Sats

Monday, June 15th.

Well, just a quick posting at the moment to acknowledge the momentous news, from yesterday’s Andrew Marr show, that a Conservative government would scrap Sats.

In its place, pupils would sit tests straight after transferring to secondary school. These would be marked by teachers, subject to external moderation, with the results then used to form league tables ranking each pupil’s primary school.

There are many ways of looking at this proposal. Teachers’ unions appear to be split on it, and there will doubtless be unintended consequences, which need, of course, to be taken seriously.

But I believe the most fundamental shift behind what Mr Gove said concerns his apparent acceptance that test-driven teaching can – and by implication, is – bad for children’s education.

He said: “One of the many concerns that people have is that [the testing regime] completely narrows teaching during the final year of primary school and all the focus is on drilling children just for those tests.”

If you accept that the current system of test-based accountability is bad for children educationally, some sort of fundamental reform becomes inevitable.

I will be writing more on this soon.

If you’r interested, a transcript of Andrew Marr’s interview with Mr Gove is here.

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