Pupils to be ranked nationally at 11

As part of major reforms to ‘raise the bar’ in primary schools in England, children will be ranked in English and maths according to national performance. Critics describe the plans as ‘disappointing and destructive’.

Under the plans to overhaul primary targets, pupils’ Sats results would be divided into ability bands of 10%, and parents and schools would be able to see where their children were placed on a national scale, the BBC reports.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he wants parents to see how their children are doing compared to their peers and to make sure that pupils are ready when they start secondary school: “I make no apology for having high ambitions for our pupils. But for children to achieve their potential we need to raise the bar – in terms of tests, pass marks and minimum standards. I am confident that primary schools and their pupils will meet that challenge.”

Other changes may include:

  • ‘more stretching’ targets for schools and an instant inspection by Ofsted, unless 85% of pupils hit a new pass mark, up from the current 60%
  • new ‘baseline’ assessments of five year-olds rather than seven at the moment
  • the pupil premium will rise from £900 to £1,300 a year to help more of the poorest youngsters.

NAHT leader Russell Hobby warned that the changes are built on ‘foundations of sand’ and NUT’s Christine Blower rejected the idea that primary schools should be measured in terms of pupils being ‘secondary ready’: “Education, from the earliest years, is not a conveyor belt to the end of secondary school,” she said.

7 thoughts on “Pupils to be ranked nationally at 11

  1. Has anyone bothered to research how imposing tests on young children affect their health and stress levels? Has anyone bothered to research how labelling children as a success or failure based on their understanding of Maths and English affects their self esteem and how they see themselves and how this stays with them through life? What about those children whose learning style is not supported by the system ? Are we really going to allow these children to go through life feeling like they are stupid and less? Sadly the system already does this and to impose even more stringent testing is shocking to say the least.

    Are these tests REALLY the best way to lovingly support our children? Who are these tests really for? Children develop at different rates and in their own time. To categorise a child in this way can only do more damage than support.

  2. This is really sad – baselined at 5 and then measured against all youngsters at 11. Yes teachers will do their best to get each child to their potential but this is bound to hurt the children more who already where they are compared to peers in their class. So much potential for creating another generation of low self esteem. When are the government going to really see what works in education. They famously quote Finland as being a good example – well look closely at what is happening there. Children start formal education at 7 and teachers are respected. Every week if not every day teachers are told ‘who could do better’. Now children as young as 5 are to be set on the treadmill of testing…. so sad

  3. If the students can see other students by name then its dreadful because it will cause comparisons. Clearly to say that students can see how they are placed in relation to their peers is very competitive and completely unacceptable.

  4. As with most people in the teaching world, the most acutely aware people in the classroom of the levels of ability are the pupils themselves.

    They know exactly where they stand in relation to ability and attainment. It’s delusional to believe that teachers can manage this almost innate sixth sense.

    I don’t believe Nick Clegg is planning to individually name pupils but a banding system based on ability bands of 10%.

    Perhaps more time ought to be spent on planning how effectively the additional £400 pupil premium can be spent to achieve improved standards ?

  5. It’s quite worrying that at the age of eleven children will be viewed as failures either by themselves or parents. Despite the fact teachers can see the disadvantages of grading children so early with yet more tests. Professionals as teachers know that children progress at different rates. Maybe some of these do called experts whom wish to make changes should work in a school for a term (minimum) maybe they’d then see things differently.

  6. What a ‘sad state’ primary education will be in with this new proposal. Anyone with young children will understand that children learn better with high self esteem and confidence. To achieve and succeed, children need to have self-belief that they can do it and can do well. From an early age, we give children freedom to make choices and to learn. Children feel positive and good about their learning. How will Nick Clegg’s our new proposal to band/rank children help them? Already, where schools stream children in maths and English, many who are not in top sets are either ready to give up or say ‘I am not clever anyway so…’ Do we really want our children to grow up thinking they are ‘rubbish’ at age 11? For those in the higher banding, it just confirms yes they are doing well but for those not up there; for some, it may make them strive to do better but for many, their confidence and self belief will be knocked. Before Nick makes such strong remarks he should really look into research relating to the effects of children’s self-esteem on learning and succeeding in life. Politics and personal views of politicians really should not be allowed to impact our education system in the way it has since this new government took over. They really need to spend some time working with children in school and talking to children. See what they have to say.

  7. When are we going to allow children to be children and have time for the simple old fashioned pastimes such as play, instead of putting them through more stress of yet another measurement of academic abilility which inevitably leads to more homework, more studies and less time to relax. Children, at 11, are already experiencing huge emotional changes in their lives with puberty, in addition to coping with SATS or 11+ exams, and now the threat of more pressure will surely add to more stress, not only with the child, but also in the family home.

    Why is there always the need for constant change in the education system? It not only puts pressure on pupils, but on teachers as well!

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