HC Deb 10 January 2000 vol 342 c43W
Mr. Casale

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to exclude disapplied pupils from the total number when calculating the percentage of pupils achieving specific levels on the National Curriculum assessments. [104262]

Jacqui Smith

We have no such plans. The National Targets enshrine our determination to improve educational standards among all children. Published figures on the performance of our schools and of the country as a whole reflect that by showing the progress of all pupils through the National Curriculum attainment levels.

The National Curriculum tests are designed to be accessible to the vast majority of children. With the range of special arrangements for assessment available to schools only a very small number of children are unable to participate in the tests. There is also a real danger that excluding disapplied pupils from the calculations could by itself lead to an undesirable increase in the number of children excluded from the National Curriculum and its assessment. Our policy is supported by the National Advisory Group on Special Educational Needs.