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October 15, 2020 Thursday 12:42:39 PM IST

Primary school testing and inspections will do more harm than good

Teacher Insights

According to a report from UCL researchers77% of teachers think that if testing and inspection go ahead in primary schools as normal, the most disadvantaged pupils will be unfairly penalised. This figure rises to 84% among teachers working with the most disadvantaged communities. The series of briefing papers, published by the International Literacy Centre at the UCL Institute of Education, highlight the disproportionate effect Covid-19 has had on primary schools and pupils in the most deprived areas in England. The findings also suggest the government’s strategy to help pupils catch up on missed education, should not focus on testing and formal inspections.

Over 1600 primary school teachers in England took part in the research project which was conducted through the Teacher Tapp app in May 2020. A follow-up survey of over 200 primary school teachers was then conducted in July 2020 with in-depth interviews with teachers, head teachers and others working in the education system.

The report authors recommend that both statutory testing and Ofsted inspections should be suspended for the current academic year and that schools should be expected and encouraged to make locally-responsive plans that are in line with their communities’ needs. They argue that schools have had such different experiences that using national tests to judge them will be unfair.

Read More: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2020/oct/primary-school-testing-and-inspections-will-do-more-harm-good

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