SCORE response to Lord Bew's review of testing and accountability at Key Stage 2
17 February 2011
The SCORE partners' response covers:
- The importance of testing and assessment for science.
- The impact of testing and assessment on science teaching and learning
- The relationship between testing and accountability.
In summary, SCORE partners feel that high stakes testing of science at key stage 2, in the form of Sats, had a detrimental impact on teaching and learning.
Our experience of league tables based on exam results has shown that they have corrupted what is taught and examined in schools.
Tests and exams have been given two purposes (to hold the school to account and to accredit its pupils) and have become 'high stakes'. However, these two purposes are incompatible because schools have been forced to make decisions based on the school's performance metrics rather than on the pupils' education and qualifications.
These decisions are about what is taught, when it is taught, how it is taught and what exams students are allowed to attempt.
National sampling should be used to provide accountability of the education system, and other accountability mechanisms, such as Ofsted and teacher assessment can provide school and/or teacher-level accountability.
Response to Lord Bew's review of testing and accountability at Key Stage 2
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Contact and Further Information
Schools and Colleges Specialist
Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Milton Road, Science Park, Cambridge CB4 0WF
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 432464