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"Excessive school testing is bad for our kids" - Farron

May 13, 2008 3:00 PM

Local MP Tim Farron is backing the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee report that criticises the national testing regime. Mr Farron is concerned that young pupils are tested far too much and far too early in their school careers and that improved results are being driven by obsessive 'teaching to the test', rather than by actual improvements in education.

The report confirms that English pupils are tested externally more than any other children in the world.

Tim Farron said:

"Of course credible testing and assessment is vital, but there is a real risk that incessant testing is distorting the curriculum and driving the joy out of learning.

"The Government should consider scaling back the extent of national testing, with more school assessment and early intervention to tackle literacy and numeracy problems. External testing could be reserved for ages 11, 16 and 18 - which would save hundreds of millions of pounds each year.

"The new independent qualifications body should randomly test a sample of children every year, so that we really know what is happening to standards."