Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

In the news

KS2 tests

General Secretary John Dunford appeared on Radio 4 on 4 May to debate Key Stage 2 tests with Mick Brookes of the NAHT. John said that while the current system needs reform, doing away with assessment at age 11 is not the answer. "There has to be an element of accountability for primary school performance in exactly the same way that secondary schools accept that they are held to account for the GCSE results for their pupils at 16."

He said that the problem with teaching to the test "has much more to do with the style of accountability than with the style of tests. Surely the greater problem is the way in which schools of very different types are compared against one another in league tables."

He added: "It's the best possible time to reform these tests. But I think a boycott may actually harden attitudes and make it less likely that the tests will be abolished."

Swine Flu

When Swine Flu first appeared in schools at the beginning of May, ASCL raised the alarm about the effect on exam timetables in the Independent, Guardian, Daily Mail and Daily Express. John Dunford said that the virus could cause substantial difficulty if exams were disrupted. "Schools need to know what to do if one of the pupils or staff is ill. They want to know what the contingency plans are for external examinations."

Post-16 funding

ASCL was quoted in the Financial Times, the Times Educational Supplement, Public Finance and BBC online about the post-16 funding situation.

When the additional funding in the budget was announced, John Dunford said on BBC online: "The challenge for the government is to continue to fund growth ahead of current projections for education and training places so that we do not run into this problem again in future years."

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