Devon school children 'damaged by education chaos'

Classroom Image copyright Barry Batchelor
Image caption The head teachers described low morale in schools as a result of the tests

Children are being damaged by an education system in chaos, according to more than 50 primary head teachers.

An open letter signed by head teachers across Devon says increased testing is "causing low morale in schools" and schools are "haemorrhaging" teachers.

The Department for Education (DfE) said its reforms are raising standards, and tests are in pupils' own interests.

But, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) said teaching had become a means of getting pupils through tests.

The 57 head teachers said they wanted the government to "put a stop to the chaos and resulting damage that your government is currently inflicting upon children".

'Lack of clear vision'

The letter states: "We call into question the quality of political leadership and lack of coherent vision of the current government."

The group said there has been a huge increase in workload, cuts to funding, "poor political leadership" and a "lack of clear vision" from the government.

The letter calls on the DfE to acknowledge the "haemorrhaging of teachers and leaders from the profession due to excessive workload and changes to pay and conditions".

Andy Woolley, Regional Secretary of the NUT for the South West, said: "The tests being imposed on them get teachers to teach to the test and children to concentrate on the test."

The DfE said the tests allow teachers to see which pupils need extra help.

A DfE spokesman said the government was "looking in depth at the three biggest concerns teachers have raised - marking, planning and resources and data management".

"We are also making funding fairer, consulting on proposals for a new national funding formula so that areas with the highest need attract the most funding," he said.

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