ATL comment on Standards and Testing Agency accidently publishing KS1 SPAG tests

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Press release
21 April 2016 by ATL Media Office
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of ATL, comments on the accidental publication of KS1 spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) tests online by the Standards and Testing Agency earlier this month.

Commenting on the accidental publication of key stage 1 (KS1) spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) tests online by the Standards and Testing Agency earlier this month, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) said:

"It is farcical that material to be used in the new primary school assessments has been accidentally released online by the government agency responsible for testing.

"The Department for Education's (DfE's) chaotic reform of assessment in primary schools has been plagued by an unacceptable string of errors, miscommunications and delays. Teachers have lost confidence in the Department's ability to oversee and run these assessments to an acceptable standard. Time and time again the concerns of experienced and knowledgeable educational professionals have been side-lined in the pursuit of introducing reforms before they are ready. How many more mistakes will the DfE make before they realise these assessments are not yet fit for purpose and their implementation is chaotic? Why should our children be put through these slapdash tests?

"It is time for the DfE to scrap these reforms and work with the profession to design an assessment system that we all can have confidence and pride in."

Notes to editors

  1. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing approximately 170,000 teachers, headteachers, lecturers and support staff in maintained and independent nurseries, schools, sixth form, tertiary and further education colleges in the United Kingdom.
  2. ATL exists to help members, as their careers develop, through first rate research, advice, information and legal advice.
  3. ATL is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). ATL is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.