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National tests for seven-year-old pupils set to be scrapped

31/03/2017 Joanna

The government has suggested that the current system of national tests taken by seven-year-olds in England will be scrapped.

New proposals aimed at delivering an improved primary assessment system have been outlined by the Department for Education, including a review of the statutory status of key stage 1 assessments to reduce the burden of statutory testing for teachers and pupils.

The government will consult on making assessments in reading, writing, mathematics and science at the end of key stage 1 non-statutory, although schools would still receive test materials to help them benchmark pupils and inform parents. The government would sample schools that administered the tests to ensure standards remain high.

This change would go hand-in-hand with a move to bring forward the starting point for school progress measurements during primary education by introducing a new test in reception, developed alongside the teaching profession.

Other proposals include the removal of the requirement to submit teacher assessments where such reviews are not used in the accountability of schools, while efforts are also set to be made to give teachers greater flexibility to use their judgement to assess pupils' ability in writing.

The government has engaged teaching unions about these proposals, which are out for consultation for the next 12 weeks.

Education secretary Justine Greening said: "The government has reformed the primary school system to make sure children can master the basics of literacy and numeracy, so they get the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in later life.

"Now we want to build on that by developing a stable assessment system that helps children learn, while freeing up teachers to do what they do best - supporting children to fulfil their potential."

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