Magazine article Public Finance

Government Dismisses MPs' Criticisms of School Testing Regime

Magazine article Public Finance

Government Dismisses MPs' Criticisms of School Testing Regime

Article excerpt

The Department for Children, Schools and Families has clashed with Ks select committee over the impact of the school testing regime.

As Schools Secretary Ed Balls came to the Commons to account for missing national test results, the select committee branded his department's response to Ks report on the testing and assessment regime as 'disappointing'.

The committee has joined a growing chorus critical of National Curriculum tests and the school league tables they inform. In a report in May, K called for urgent reform, saying that in too many cases testing had led to a narrowing of the curriculum as teachers focused solely on getting their pupils to pass the test K recommended ongoing teacher assessment and a broader, more balanced picture of school performance.

The DCSF's official response to the report, published on July 22, disputed the suggestion that schools 'taught to the test' to preserve their league table position. But this missed the point, committee chair Barry Sheerman responded. '[The government] is unwilling to concede that teaching to the test is a widespread problem despite all the significant evidence that the committee heard. …

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