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School Tests

Volume 227: debated on Wednesday 23 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education what percentage of schools in each local education authority did not carry the recent tests for 14-year-old pupils.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will estimate the number of hours per week teachers are occupied in marking test papers for pupils aged (a) seven, (b) 11 and (c) 14 years.

The information is not available in the precise format requested. On average, teachers of seven-year-olds should be able to administer this Summer's tests in English, mathematics and science in a total of roughly 24 hours. This excludes the time taken to test pupils' ability to read aloud. Teachers have discretion to spread out these tests between half-term in the spring term and four weeks before the end of the summer term.Tests for 11-year-olds are not yet mandatory. One of the main purposes of this summer's pilot of prototype tests for this age group is to shed light on what is manageable for teachers including marking times.Based on experience in the trials, it is estimated that a subject teacher with a typical class of 27 14-year-olds, might spend roughly seven to 11 hours marking the mathematics tests; just over 11 hours marking the science papers, between 11 and 13·5 hours marking the English papers, and 7·5 hours on the technology papers.