“ … A better way …!”

As we come to the end of the Autumn term a lot of Heads are already thinking about the KS2 tests just a few short months away. They worry in particular about the high stakes nature of the results and what they might mean.

For many the main issue is this:- “I am not against holding us to account, but the process needs to be fair and rational. The current process doesn’t feel that way.”   Despite being aware of the unbalanced system and its effects on all aspects of school life, Heads feel they need to go along with it because failing to do so can result in an unfair view of the school and the children within it.

It has come to a pretty state of affairs if caring professionals feel coerced into following a pattern of behaviour that they believe to be wrong.

If you have a bit of reading time can I recommend Anxiety, Pressure and Collateral Damage by Dr. Alice Bradbury, a report commissioned by More than a Score.  To a large extent it simply confirms what I and many others already feel to be true about how the current testing regime distorts our pupils educational experience. What struck me most were the comments by serving Heads, some of which I found genuinely harrowing. I could feel the professional pain coming off the page.

As one of the responding Heads said in the report, “There must be a better way to do it.”

Robin Hughes

Robin Hughes

An educationalist with more than 40 years of experience, Robin has taught, lead, advised and supported schools, teachers and policy makers in the UK and internationally. An acknowledged expert in assessment he is now an adviser for Target Tracker within Juniper Education.