UK scraps SATs for 14-year-olds
After the diasaster that marred the SAT process earlier this year with some SAT papers still not marked and returned to schools Education Secretary Ed Balls announced that the British Government has decided to scrap the tests for 14 year olds.
Some educationalists have been calling for this move for some time but this has come out of the blue and will perhaps change the way that teachers now teach maybe for the better as they will not be 'teaching to test' rather than teaching to educate.
The government is to abolish Sats for 14-year-olds in a historic move triggered by the collapse of this year's marking process and a string of high-profile critical reports on the tests.
The changes mean pupils will no longer have to sit externally marked tests at the age of 14, but ministers have insisted that primary school pupils will still have to undergo the most controversial tests at 11.
The schools secretary, Ed Balls, today informed parliament of plans for sweeping changes to the national testing system, which sees 1.2 million pupils sit 9.5m papers every year.
The move cuts the testing burden on schools in half.
The plans also include a new American-style "report card" for every school so that parents can access information about schools they might want to send their child to. Every school will receive a grade depending on their performance.
Balls said: "If you ask, are we abolishing half the national testing system, yes, we are."
There's nothing like a crisis for concentrating ministers' minds and getting things done.
You might say that today's sudden announcement that key stage 3 Sats tests for 14-year-olds in England are being abolished was put out during the week when Gordon Brown was saving the banking system - I couldn't possibly comment.
But it has the merit of being decisive and popular, with teachers, if not with the compilers of newspaper league tables.