The new Ofsted chief, Amanda Spielman has said that over testing is a myth, in reference to exam pressure on pupils.
The TES reports that Spielman has defended the UK’s exams approach saying it does not amount to over testing. She cited the work of academic Tim Oates, research director at Cambridge assessment, who conducted numerous comparative studies on international testing regimes. Spielman said his research:
“…[seemed] to conclude that, actually, it adds up to much the same amount of testing as in most other systems”.
In a conversation with the publication, Spielman discussed over testing, as well as her previous roles, which include serving as the chair of Ofqual, and working at the academy chain, Ark.
On the subject of over testing she said:
“If you’d been interviewing me a few weeks ago, with an Ofqual hat on, I’d be a lot more forthcoming than I’m probably going to be today, with an Ofsted hat on, because I don’t think we have a particular Ofsted view.”
She then went on to say that she did not think that English pupils were subject to over testing, before adding:
“But clearly there’s been an enormous amount of change, and there have been some kinds of teething problems, and there’s the whole new GCSEs and new A levels. It’s a tough time for schools and colleges, with so much change going through the system, and that’s something that, clearly, in inspections we’ve got to be aware of.”
Ofsted’s appointment of Amanda Spielman was somewhat controversial, as her appointment was nearly dashed by a Commons vote, though that was overturned by the Privy Council.
Spielman, is credited with setting up the Ark academy trust, and is said to have drafted in Amy Finch, head of education at think tank Reform, to be her private secretary.