Top adviser calls for rethink over demanding grammar tests

The TES is reporting that a national curriculum adviser is urging ministers to rethink the content in grammar tests.

One of the main architects of England’s national curriculum has urged ministers to rethink “really demanding” grammar content after problems with this year’s Sats for 11-year-olds.

Tim Oates, who chaired a government-commissioned review that led to the introduction of the new curriculum from 2014, told TES there was a “genuine problem about undue complexity in demand” in the content that formed the basis of this year’s spelling, punctuation and grammar (Spag) test.

He made his comments as headteachers’ leaders warned that heads could boycott Sats next year unless significant changes to primary assessment begin in the next few weeks. Mr Oates said that he had advised ministers to rethink the curriculum in the wake of problems with this year’s tests. He suggested that grammar teaching should focus on how to apply rules to complex language instead of increasing the “complexity of language about language…so you inevitably have to hit things like subordinating conjunctions”.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “The national curriculum was designed to help children to master literacy and numeracy early on, which will prevent them falling behind and struggling for the rest of their lives”.

More at: Top adviser calls for rethink over demanding grammar tests

Do you think there should be a change to grammar tests at SATs level? Let us know in the comments below or via Twitter. ~ Meena.

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