Time to end ‘teaching to the test’ culture


Layla Moran

Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran this week spoke at the National Education Union to demand an end to the ‘teaching to the test’ culture by scrapping league tables, Ofsted and high-stakes testing in primary schools.

 

On Ofsted:
 
"The Ofsted brand is fundamentally broken. It has long ago lost the trust of the teaching profession. Which is why I think tinkering around the edges simply isn’t enough. We need a complete overhaul, replacing this inspection scheme altogether.

"So I propose build a system which looks at the culture of a school and focuses on the wellbeing of teachers and pupils, as much as on academic results.

"Where a school is struggling, the system should support that school to improve, not punish it. This system should be led by teachers, for teachers – with peer-to-peer support to help schools where they need to do better."
 
On league tables:
 
“Why is it that Government continues to publish state-sanctioned league tables? Why encourage schools to compete so ferociously for the highest number, forgetting their true purpose of improving education for all?

"Choosing a school shouldn’t be like renewing home or car insurance. Schools are so much more than just numbers.

"Gather together and publish parent and teacher feedback from surveys. Ask neighbouring school leaders to look at the quality of pastoral care or the breadth of subjects offered."
 
On high-stakes testing in primary schools:
 
“It is high time we ended the unnecessary stress placed on pupils and teachers by high-stakes testing in primary schools. Which is why we should scrap SATs and reception baseline tests altogether.

"With teachers constantly having to focus on these and other tests throughout a child’s life, important parts of the curriculum get pushed to the back of the queue. Rather than preparing students for life, we’re teaching students how to be tested.”


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