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Science exam axe welcomed by headteachers

PUBLISHED: 16:38 13 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:41 23 August 2010

TEACHERS have welcomed government plans to scrap a primary school science exam. Schools secretary Ed Balls said he fully accepted an expert panel s recommendations to axe Key Stage2 (KS2) science exams in favour of teacher assessment last Friday. The ex

TEACHERS have welcomed government plans to scrap a primary school science exam.

Schools secretary Ed Balls said he fully accepted an expert panel's recommendations to axe Key Stage2 (KS2) science exams in favour of teacher assessment last Friday.

The exams for 11-year-olds have received criticism for damaging children and resulting in narrow teaching in the last year of primary school.

Gerald Sperling, headteacher at Cobham Primary School on The Street, said: "It's a very good idea - the sooner the better. They should scrap maths and English too. I don't understand why they would propose teacher assessment just for science.

"It would make a great difference to the lives of the students.

"And I don't think there is anything gained by publishing the results of the exams in national league tables."

The report submitted to Mr Balls last week read: "Secondary schools planning for their intake of year seven pupils should be based on teacher assessment data."

Under plans to axe the science part, maths and English KS2 exams will be kept for the time being, but will be moved back from May to June.

Mr Sperling added: "I think all primary schools would welcome teacher assessment. We are quite capable of assessing our students."

Simon Manning, headteacher at Darenth Primary School in Green Street Green Road, agreed with Mr Sperling.

He said: "Yes it's a good idea. Hopefully it will be the death knell for all KS exams. The KS exams should go. They are a snapshot of what a pupil is doing at a particular point in time."

The expert group, set up by Mr Balls to review primary school assessment, included government advisers, headteachers and a former Ofsted head.

It also recommended the introduction of school report cards as an alternative to school league tables.

Cards would include information about schools, including pupil satisfaction, child wellbeing and exam scores and would also have an overall grade, from A to F.

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