Worry over planned change to exams
PLANS to reform the school exam system have been greeted with caution by local teachers, with concerns being raised about how children with special educational needs will cope.
From 2017, students studying maths, English and the sciences, will be judged on their performance in end-of-course exams rather than a combination of course work and exams.
Other subjects will be phased in and pupils starting secondary school this year will be the first to take the new exams.
Paul Kennedy, headteacher at Holy Trinity School, Gossops Green, said he felt that some students would struggle with exams – which rely on memory – rather than a skills-based assessment of their progress.
He added that the effect on children with conditions such as dyslexia was one of his deepest concerns and said: “For some learners examinations are terrifying things, even with support.
“Professionals have worked for many years to make learning and assessment more accessible and accurate for our young people with specific learning needs.
“I hope and pray the new model reflects the years of development that have already taken place and the wonderful work our support services do in our schools. We are proud to be a comprehensive school, we hope assessment and success are equally comprehensive!”
The concern was echoed by Crawley MP Henry Smith who sought assurances from Education Secretary Michael Gove in Parliament last week that such students would be give extra time and assistance during exams.
Julian Grant, deputy head at Thomas Bennett Community College, in Tilgate, said that taking away the pressure of coursework would suit some students but added: “The pressure of all the exams occurring at the end of Year 11 will be very tough and will mean that hard-working students only have one chance to perform ‘on the day’.
“Whether or not this is fairer and prepares them better for the challenges of future life is a matter of considerable debate – as is whether or not this method of examination reflects better a student’s academic ability and capability of performing well in the workplace.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Crawley
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west