§ Mr. Win Griffiths
To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) if he will list the local education authorities which in the seven years before the introduction of assessment and testing within the national curriculum failed to ensure that children in their schools were assessed and tested until they took examinations at 16-plus;
(2) if he will list the schools in each local education authority area, which in the seven years before the introduction of assessment and testing within the national curriculum failed to ensure that children were assessed and tested until they took public examinations at 16-plus;
(3) if he will list the action taken by his predecessors and himself since 1979 to remedy the failures reported to them as far as the non-testing of children before the age of 16-plus was concerned.
§ Mr. Forth
Comprehensive information on testing and assessment policies in individual local education authorities and individual schools is not available in the form requested. There have been a number of surveys of tests used for different age groups, however. The most recent was conducted by the National Foundation for 97W Educational Research on behalf of the School Examinations and Assessment Council (SEAC) in March 1992 on existing practices in local education authorities for testing 11-year-olds. No testing took place in 49 out of the 91 authorities which responded—over half.
The same theme is to be found in a number of reports by Her Majesty's inspectorate. For example, in OFSTED's most recent report, "Assessment, Recording and Reporting in 1991–92", the schools inspectors said that they had found thatThe quality of teacher assessment during key stage 3 remained variable with the norm being weakandthe quality of teacher assessment in middle schools was rarely good.The main action to remedy this was taken by my right hon. Friend and his predecessors when the national curriculum and its associated assessment arrangements were introduced in the Education Reform Act 1988, to ensure that all pupils were rigorously assessed in the national curriculum subjects four times during 11 years of compulsory schooling, on completion of programmes of study associated with each key stage—for most pupils at the ages of 7, 11, 14 and 16. Implementation of statutory assessment procedures began with tests for seven-year-olds in 1991. Tests for 11-year-olds will be the last to be introduced, in 1994.