Children’s author Philip Pullman has joined leading educationalists, early years specialists and psychologists in calling for plans to introduce tests for four- and five-year-olds in their first weeks at primary schools to be scrapped.
The tests, known as baseline assessment, are due to be trialled in a number of schools from September and will be used to measure basic skills including children’s ability to count and recognise letters and numbers immediately when they start in reception class. They will be introduced nationally in 2016.
Pullman is one of 80 signatories to a letter to the Guardian which argues that the tests should be stopped because they are “statistically invalid, will formalise a testing culture from the age of four, will be used to judge teachers and schools and, most importantly, will be dangerous for children”.
In her Carnegie acceptance speech, Sally Gardner speaks about her own experience of school and then turns her attention to current education policy. “STOP testing our children into failure.”
The link contains a full audiofile of the Medal announcement followed by acceptance speech.