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Friday, May 28, 1999 Published at 23:16 GMT 00:16 UK


Teachers angry at threat to assessments

The government wants to publish test results more quickly

Teachers' assessments of pupils could be dropped from primary school performance tables, under government proposals.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has responded angrily to suggestions that the teachers' assessment element of the performance tables might be dropped, as part of the government's efforts to streamline the publication of annual test results.

As well as publishing the results of National Curriculum tests for seven and eleven-year-olds, the performance tables currently include teachers' assessments of pupils' achievements.

[ image: National Curriculum tests have become part of the primary school year]
National Curriculum tests have become part of the primary school year
These assessments are intended to provide parents with another perspective on their children's ability, beyond the "snapshot" of the tests.

"Teacher assessments are about looking to the future and a child's potential, whereas test results simply show what happened on one particular day," said a NUT spokesperson.

While "encouraging" local authorities to continue publishing the information contained in teachers' assessments, the government's consultation proposals would remove the compulsion for them to be included.

The publication of last year's test results was impossible until this February, and the government wants to be able to publish the latest tests before the end of the year.

Cutting the requirement to include teacher assessments, it is claimed, would "simplify the data handling process and achieve earlier publication".

The NUT has been a longstanding critic of the publication of school league tables, and the greater emphasis on tests rather than assessment has increased the union's hostility.

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