Schools in England opt out of international tolerance and cultural awareness test.


i News reports that schools in England have opted out of taking part in a new international test which aims to assess students’ tolerance, respect for other cultures and attitudes towards diversity.

The Global Competence assessment, part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, has been launched because of the need for people to be able to work in interconnected and increasingly diverse societies.

The assessment is designed to see how well young people are prepared to work with those from different backgrounds. It addresses issues such as cultural awareness and racism and the results of the assessment are intended to inform leaders and teachers, as well as educational policies.

However the Department for Education said it thought the new test would place too much strain on students – a decision that was welcomed by some school leaders. 

Ireland, the US, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland have all decided against taking the assessment but they will take part in the other Pisa tests for maths, science and reading.

Andreas Schleicher, the OECD’s education director said some countries may not want to be compared by measures relating to tolerance and cultural awareness.

Speaking at the Education World Forum in London, Mr Schleicher said: “I take a different view of it. I think the only way to get serious, the only way to get started with this is to look at the truth. There’s nothing that we gain by not looking at those kinds of outcome,” he said, according to TES.

When asked about the decision for schools in England to not take part in the assessment, the Department for Education (DfE) said: “All schools are already required to teach pupils to have a mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs, so in order to not place additional burden on them, we will not be taking part in this smaller scale Global Competence assessment.”

Read the full article Schools in England opt out of international tolerance and cultural awareness test.

What do you think? Should England’s young take the international test? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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  1. Yippee! Good news for once. It is impossible to ‘teach’ respect and tolerance. Tolerance implies a limit anyway, and why should my personal tolerance levels be dictated by the state? Respect has to be earned, and consequently given voluntarily. Respect demanded under duress is not real respect; it simply breeds resentment and hatred.

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