https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/07/10/education-in-the-media-tuesday-10-july/

Education in the Media: Tuesday 10 July

Classroom

Today’s Education in the media blog looks at the National Education Union’s survey on Key Stage 2 SATs tests and comments around IGCSEs.

SATs

Today, Tuesday 10 July, the National Education Union (NEU) published survey findings which claimed that 9 out of 10 teachers think SATs tests have a negative effect on their pupils’ wellbeing. This was reported by PA and The Sun.

We are clear that assessments at primary school are a crucial part of a child’s education, which helps teachers and parents understand where they need additional support.

We trust schools not to put undue pressure on pupils that are taking these tests – and certainly not at the expense of their wellbeing.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Most parents understand that assessing the extent to which children have grasped what they have been taught is an important part of education, and it is by doing so that teachers can understand where pupils may need additional support – this is especially true of pupils before leaving primary school.

These tests check that children can read, write and add up well, which lays the foundation for success at secondary schools and beyond. We trust schools not to put undue pressure on children when administering these assessments, and certainly not at the expense of their wellbeing.

IGCSEs

Today, Tuesday 10 July, the Guardian published a comment piece from Fiona Millar on international GCSEs, or IGCSEs – an alternative qualification still used widely in fee paying schools – which she says increases the divide between state and private schools.

We announced in 2014 that once the reformed GCSE are introduced, unreformed and international GCSEs in the same subject will no longer count in performance tables. This is because we want to ensure pupils benefit from reformed GCSEs which are the gold standard qualification, in line with expected standards in countries with the highest performing education systems.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We have reformed GCSEs to put them on a par with the best in the world so young people have the knowledge and skills they need to prepare them for future success and deliver the skills Britain needs to be fit for the future.

These new qualifications provide more rigorous content, greater stretch for the highest performers and are better preparation for studying A levels, which are the main qualifications universities use when considering offers. We no longer recognise IGCSEs in our league tables as they have not been through the same approval and quality control process as the new gold standard GCSEs.

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