Comment on Primary Assessment

Commenting on the Department for Education’s response to the Education Select Committee report on primary assessment, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“NEU members will take the Department’s response to the Education Committee’s report with a large pinch of salt. The Department describes a school system which few who work in schools will recognise.

“It says that ‘all schools are required to teach a broad and balanced curriculum’ – but sets aside the evidence that the pressures of testing are driving schools to narrow the curriculum.

“It says that ‘assessment should not cause children stress or anxiety’ – and ignores the growing concerns of parents and educationalists about the effects of a test-driven system on mental health and well-being.

“It says that ‘KS2 results should be just a starting point for a conversation about a school’s performance’ – and forgets the prominence that these results have in league tables and in Ofsted’s data tables.

“Those who work in primary education would like to see the Department honestly recognise and face up to the problems which a politically-driven system has created for schools.  They look forward to seeing the Education Committee probing the claims of the Department, and asking the hard questions that need to be asked if we are to achieve a better system.”

ENDS

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Press release
30 November 2017