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NATIONAL CURRICULUM TESTS 'TOO BURDENSOME' REPORTS OFSTED

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A report from Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI) published by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) today find...
A report from Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI) published by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) today finds that the weight of assessment, recording and reporting demanded by the National Curriculum is proving too burdensome for effective teaching.

The inspectors are confident that assessment has a vital role in raising standards by increasing the expectations of teachers, pupils and parents. It should also lead to teaching being more clearly targeted on individual weaknesses which are themselves more quickly identified and remedied.

There remain, however, significant failings arising both from the complexity of the current structure and from its application in practice: both issues which are being addressed by the Dearing review.

Assessment, recording and reporting is based on over 500 inspections covering the academic year 1992-3. HMI conclude that key stages 1 and 2 are the worst pressure points for teachers in terms of coping with the breadth and complexity of National Curriculum assessment, recording and reporting. They recommend that in the revision of the National Curriculum, consideration should be given to: reducing the rangeand number of assessment requirements; and providing more detail of exactly what is to be assessed.

An effective assessment system needs to be manageable. It also needs to be one in which teachers can believe. The professional goodwill of teachers will then follow.
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