Exam Results `Not Linked to Teaching Time'
Judith Judd,, The Independent (London, England)
SCHOOL inspectors yesterday challenged assumptions made by ministers that educational standards are linked to the number of hours schools spend teaching each week.
Their report - which shows that there is little connection between the length of the teaching week and exam results - will embarrass the Prime Minister, who suggested in a speech last December that teaching hours should be included in league tables.
John Patten, Secretary of State for Education, ordered a review after a report from the Chief Inspector of Schools showed some pupls were losing a day's teaching each week.
Yesterday's report from the Office for Standards in Education says that teaching hours vary - in primary schools from 20 to 23.8 and in secondary schools 23.3 to 25.8 - though more than 80 per cent of schools have increased their teaching hours since 1989.
The inspectors' conclusions in the interim report on 64 schools are reinforced by an analysis of the 1992 test results and a study of teaching hours and GCSE results. The latter shows "that the correlation between the time allocated and the standards achieved is at best extremely weak". …