The government has u-turned on a manifesto pledge that all children who do not achieve a level 4 in reading and maths must resit their exams at secondary school.
Education secretary Justine Greening announced today that she will abandon statutory resits in year 7 on arrival, and instead “focus on the steps needed to ensure a child catches up lost ground”.
It was one of a series of proposals around primary assessment announced today.
However the resit announcement reneges on a Conservative manifesto that stated “if children do not meet level 4 in their ‘exams’ at the end of primary school, they must resit at secondary school”.
Greening said: “High-quality resit papers will be made available for teachers to use if they wish, as part of their ongoing assessments. In addition, we will introduce a targeted package of support to make sure that struggling pupils are supported by teachers to catch up in year 7.”
The move has been welcomed by some in the education community.
Kim Johnson, president of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), and principal of Bradfields Academy, said: “Secondary leaders will welcome the government’s plans to halt planned resits of SATs in year seven. These tests would not have helped children or teachers.”
Russell Hobby, NAHT general secretary, said: “NAHT is pleased that the new Secretary of State has listened to the concerns of school leaders and teachers over assessment in primary schools and the year 7 resits in secondary schools. We welcome the commitment to work with us all on a full review of assessment and accountability in the coming months.
“In the short term, there are proposals to correct some of the difficulties we faced last year. We will now present these changes to our members to seek their views. We will want to look closely at the proposals on accountability in particular.”
The online multiplication tables check will be rolled out from the school year 2018 to 2019, following consideration in the consultation of how these should be implemented most effectively.