Hundreds of schools face new compulsory tests

Hundreds of schools will have no choice but to enter around 15,000 pupils for extra tests in the final run-up to their GCSEs under Ofqual plans, TES has learned.

The exams regulator is going to ask the government to make its new National Reference Test (NRT) mandatory for a sample of 300 secondaries, every March from 2017.

It will comprise of separate tests of less than an hour each in English and maths. Individual results will not be published and if the NRT works as planned it could provide Ofqual with the evidence it believes is necessary to justify rises in GCSE grades.

But heads are concerned about the extra pressure the tests could put on year 11 pupils and their schools, when crucial final GCSEs are just weeks away.

Keith Grainger, headteacher of Garth Hill College, a secondary school in Berkshire, said more compulsory testing could throw GCSE revision plans into “disarray”.

To read the full story, get the 10 April edition of TES on your tablet or phone or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents.

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