Category Archives: Uncategorized

Primary school tests: what can parents do?

We recently published information about Key Stage 2 SATs in a blog post called Protecting children from primary school tests. It was based on the official instructions sent to headteachers by the Standards and Testing Agency, known as the Assessment and … Continue reading

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Protecting children from primary school tests

The damage caused by primary school testing to children’s education and wellbeing is now very clear. Among other effects, it has helped to create a crisis in children’s mental health. As we know, large numbers of children are now suffering … Continue reading

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Book launches

Beyond the exam factory Alternatives to high-stakes testing Events are being held around England to present and discuss this new book from More Than A Score – a broad coalition of the largest teacher union NEU, parents groups, researchers, and … Continue reading

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Time to bin the Phonics Check

The phonics check was supposedly set up as a ‘light-touch’ diagnostic tool. It is neither light nor diagnostic. It is another high-stakes test, used by Ofsted to judge schools, and it diagnoses nothing. It is not diagnostic because it cannot … Continue reading

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Phonics and the PIRLS test: time to end Government interference

Schools Minister Nick Gibb has hardly stopped crowing because England has risen from 10th to 8th place in the international PIRLS reading test. He claims personal credit, accrediting this result everything to the Phonics Check and his insistence on synthetic … Continue reading

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Asset stripping through multi-academy trusts

The Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) has become a symbol of everything that is wrong with the academy system. Its schools have been let down badly. The local NEU secretary Sally Kincaid sums this up as asset stripping.  Funding from … Continue reading

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Teach like Finland – take your time

Most of our knowledge of Finnish schools comes from Pasi Sahlberg’s book Finnish Lessons. Accounts of the day to day life of teachers are hard to find, partly because of the difficulties of learning the Finnish language. Now at last … Continue reading

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