I write in response to the letter from A J Wilson provoked by Steve Woodhouse’s latest article: “Young pupils don’t need more tests”.
I lived in Yorkshire for many years, both on the Wolds and in South Yorkshire, and as the parent of two youngsters who initially struggled with both literacy and numeracy I have nothing but admiration for the hard work and expertise of their teachers who worked tirelessly throughout their primary school years to help them to overcome their difficulties, turning them into articulate, confident adults who were successful in secondary school.
Neither of them were subject to a demoralising succession of formal assessments. Their teachers were able to concentrate on doing their jobs rather than being deflected from their core task by the demoralising demands of an administration that is mistrustful of their professionalism and commitment. A J Wilson clearly has little, if any, experience or understanding of the reality of the contemporary primary school classroom and of all that teachers do to support the development of the children in their care.
The letter is full of assertions that are not backed up by factual evidence or statistics.
Mr Woodhouse is quite right to remind parents and the public that the education of young people goes far beyond equipping them with basic skills, and to reassure them that a relentless programme of testing does nothing to improve the level of pupil achievement, quality of teaching, or motivation of classroom practitioners.
Bay View Road,
Port St Mary, Isle of Man