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Education and Skills Bill

Volume 481: debated on Thursday 23 October 2008

Today the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Young People and Families will table amendments to the Education and Skills Bill in advance of its Report stage in the other place. The amendments relate to national curriculum testing at key stage 3.

On 14 October, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families announced that from the summer of 2009, children would not be required to take key stage 3 national curriculum tests.

In light of this, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State is tabling these amendments now in order to remove the obligation on schools and local authorities to administer key stage 3 tests from 2009 onwards.

The effect of section 88 of the Education Act 2002 requires the national curriculum, including assessment arrangements, to be in place at the start of the school year in order for it to be implemented that year.

The amendments provide an exemption for assessment arrangements from the general requirement that schools implement the national curriculum as it stands at the start of the school year.

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin will write to interested peers to outline in more detail our reasons for no longer requiring children to take national curriculum tests at key stage 3. A copy of this letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.