The following letter about Michael Wilshaw’s plans to re-introduce testing at aged 7, was published in today’s Evening Standard.
Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector of OFSTED is completely wrong to suggest that education in this country could be improved by the reintroduction of testing children at seven years of age.
Children, at the very early stages of their educational journeys should not experience fear, anxiety and insecurity. This only serves the purpose of destroying the love of learning that we should be fostering in them.
In an educational system where a school sinks or swims according to its test results, teachers feel increasingly under pressure to narrow and restrict their curriculum and to teach to tests in order that their school survives. This is a system where a child’s right to a broad and balanced curriculum is being eroded. Reintroducing testing at seven will further compounded this problem.
Wilshaw’s vision of an education system based upon competition and testing children as young as seven is not a vision that is shared by the majority of teachers or educationalists. Sadly Wilshaw seems seems intent on going to war with these people. He can and must be opposed.
Jess Edwards, coordinator of A Charter for primary Education,
Sara Tomlinson, secretary, Lambeth NUT