The Daily Mail reports that SATs tests for 14-year-olds have been scrapped in a humiliating U-turn by Children's Secretary Ed Balls. And school exams in other age groups will be radically overhauled, he said.
Mr Balls told the Commons today that the key stage 3 tests taken by pupils at 14 were 'not justified' and would be dropped with immediate effect. Tests for primary pupils will remain but the high-stakes examination for 11-year-olds leaving primary school could be scrapped by 2010. The assessment of seven-year-olds will be downgraded.
Mr Balls's announcement cuts a swathe through the controversial testing system embraced enthusiastically by five previous Labour Education Secretaries after its introduction by the Tories 15 years ago. It follows a marking fiasco this summer which heaped misery on thousands of pupils after results were delayed and inaccurately recorded. The overhaul also comes on the back of criticism from teachers and parents of the high-pressure examination regime.