‘Listen to teacher’- ministers are told

Photo Neil Cross
 Headteacher David Fann at Sherwood Primary School
Photo Neil Cross Headteacher David Fann at Sherwood Primary School
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Lancashire’s school heads and teachers are calling for a shake-up of the exam system.

The call comes amid “choas” caused by the Government dropping the new reception class baseline test after admitting it does not work as a measure of pupil progress.

The National Association of Headteachers said the Government had “outsmarted itself by choosing multiple providers of these assessments – none of which compare to each other.

They cannot provide a measure of progress that can be compared between schools.”

David Fann, headteacher at Sherwood Primary in Fulwood, Preston, is the NAHT county and national spokesman on primary education.

He said: “This outcome is symptomatic of the general chaos on assessment in the primary phase, with poor planning and a lack of consultation with the people who know what will actually work.

“We welcome the government’s promise to work with the profession to consider its next steps, but we are clear that a piecemeal approach to individual tests will not work. It’s what got us into this mess in the first place. We need a coherent approach to assessment from start to finish across all ages, methods and subjects.”

Mr Fann said the NAHT was not opposed to measuring progress from the start of school, rather than half way through, but added that the government approached the issue in the wrong way

He added: “ Our view is: listen properly when constructive critics are telling you about the problems you will face. Government have wasted time and money once again.”

Simon Jones, county executive member for the National Union of Teachers said: “ The flaws in the scheme’s design were well known to Early Years educators, and were pointed out to the Department for Education when it first consulted on the scheme. The attempt to make baseline work has cost millions, has prevented children from settling into their school and increased the workload of their teachers.