Azara Blog: Head teachers' leader says Labour obsessed with school tests

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Date published: 2006/04/30

The BBC says:

The government must give up its "continuing obsession" with testing England's schoolchildren, a head teachers' leader has said.

Desmond Hamilton, president of the National Association of Head Teachers, also demanded that no class should exceed 30 pupils in size.

Personalised teaching - not "tests for tots" - was needed, he told the NAHT's annual conference in Harrogate.

Ministers say tests are essential for raising standards.

Dr Hamilton told conference delegates: "There are no mistakes in schools, only lessons to be learnt.

"We are knowledge creators. What we do often remains invisible and intangible.

"Yet government has a continuing obsession with leaving no person under-tested.

"Those for whom classroom visits are occasional photo opportunities often reflect most enthusiasm for testing regimes - not classroom teachers."

The Blair government is obsessed with tests, one of its many follies. And since school status (and so eventually money) depends on the results, schools teach to the tests and everything is optimised with that goal in mind. This is why the results get better year in and year out, although the students of today are no better (or worse) than the students of yesterday. It's a complete distraction from the real purpose of school, i.e. education. And unfortunately, outsiders cannot really judge how good a teacher is, certainly not based on some arbitrary measure of test performance. But if there is one thing you can guarantee, the government will continue to obsess about tests.

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