Wales to Cut Testing

K-12 Testing

Welsh 11- and 14-year-olds will be relieved of mandatory school testing by 2007-08, thanks to a move by Education Minister Jane Davidson. Her decision means that the tests will be replaced with classroom-based assessments and one new “skills test” for 10-year-olds. Davidson said there is “clear evidence” that such a change is needed to improve teaching, learning and the curriculum.


This move will bring Wales in line with Scotland, leaving England as the only part of Great Britain with substantial standardized testing requirements, including testing of seven-year-olds. England has seen vigorous resistance to compulsory testing, particularly from educators. The British National Union of Teachers had proposed a boycott (see Examiner, Fall 2003) but did not proceed because fewer than half its members voted in a poll on the issue. Those who did vote strongly supported the boycott idea.