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Tests for seven-year-olds to be “robust and rigorous” says Nicky Morgan

Testing times for primary school teachers as more assessment changes could be on the horizon

Robust and rigorous. What exactly does that mean? Sturdy, yes, and well thought through, sure. But what does it mean in terms of primary school testing? Nicky Morgan announced at the recent Policy Exchange that the government will be looking at the assessment of pupils at age seven “to make sure it is as robust and rigorous as it needs to be”. Morgan said: “I want to make sure that primary schools and their headteachers are being held to account in the right way. In a way that is fair, and rewards those who take on a challenge”.

In response, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) said: “We support the government’s commitments to help schools enable more children to achieve expected standards of English and maths at primary school. But continual testing is not the answer, and nor is changing the goalposts every time a minister speaks. Primary schools are already under immense pressure from having to introduce an untried baseline assessment scheme this year alongside a new primary curriculum, and new tests at the end of Key Stage 2. Yet more changes to testing will not improve children’s English or maths.”

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Pie Corbett