Get rid of curse of rigid tests and league tables in schools
PUBLISHED: 16:04 01 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:19 05 October 2010
Dear Ed, THE teachers’ unions are campaigning to get rid of the curse of rigid, unnecessary national testing and league tables from our schools. Our children are already the most tested in the industialised world. They are also the unhappiest
From George Galloway, MP:
TEACHERS and headteachers are looking for support over the next year—and they should get it.
The NUT teachers’ union and its equivalent for heads are campaigning to get rid of the curse of rigid, unnecessary national testing and league tables from our schools.
Our children are already the most tested in the industialised world. They are also the unhappiest.
If the Government does not change its policy, the teachers are going to vote to boycott next year’s SATs tests.
Britain came bottom of a list of 22 countries on a measure of child wellbeing and happiness.
There are many problems with the national testing regime.
The results are unreliable, as is now common knowledge. Yet the fate of children at age seven and 11, and the future of whole schools, is made to depend on them.
The results do not tell teachers what they need to know about children’s development, so they can make professional judgements about what support they need.
Instead, they often tell you how much coaching the children have had to pass the test, how many booster classes, how much expensive home tuition.
They are killing off creativity and real learning in our schools. Art, PE, music and other subjects that are not part of the maths-literacy-science tests are squeezed out, despite efforts of teachers and schools in Tower Hamlets to provide a rich curriculum for all children.
They don’t have the tests in Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland. There’s been no diminution of standards there. On the contrary.
Speaking as someone who left school early and did not have a university education, I want all children to have a broad, balanced education with the chance of pursuing their interests to the highest level.
Teachers and the unions are committed to that too. They are acting not out of self interest, but to protect the well-being of our children.
George Galloway, MP
Bethnal Green & Bow
Constituency Office, Club Row, Bethnal Green
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