HC Deb 12 May 1992 vol 207 cc67-8W
Mr. Richards

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what arrangements he intends to make for the national curriculum assessment arrangements in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. David Hunt

I have today published for consultation, in parallel with the Secretary of State for Education, draft orders to govern next year's arrangements to assess 14-year-olds in Wales, and those for seven-year-olds will be published later this week.

Next year's assessments will be the first statutory arrangements for 14-year-olds and will cover the core subjects, technology and, where taught, Welsh second language. The arrangements are intended to be rigorous and informative and will comprise: Predominantly a combination of short, written, timed examinations and teachers' own assessment of pupils' attainment based on their continuous school work; Provision for test results to be preferred to teacher assessments in determining overall subject scores where both are available in relation to the same attainment target, with teacher asssessments used in relation to attainment targets which are not subject to such tests; The assessment of Welsh and Welsh second language will provide for the testing of oral skills, and technology will include a longer practical task to test pupils' designing and making skills in this subject; The consistency of standards and results between schools and LEAs in Wales will be audited by an independent examining body before reports are made to parents or the results published more generally; In line with the arrangements for schools in England it is proposed that the written tests for 14-year-olds in 1993 should take place in week commencing 7 June.

The proposed arrangements, which are based on the advice and development work of the School Examinations and Assessment Council, are intended to provide a rigorous and reliable assessment of 14-year-olds as they prepare for future GCSE and other public examinations later in their schooling. They will apply to both LEA maintained and grant-maintained schools in Wales and such independent schools as choose to participate. The results will be fully reported to parents.

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