SPAG test strongly opposed by heads


Head teachers have warned that they will oppose a proposed new spelling, grammar and punctuation test to be introduced in primary schools next summer because it will narrow the curriculum and add further misery to year six students.

The SPAG test will be sat by pupils at the end of primary school as part of pupils' national curriculum tests (SATs) because, say ministers, too little attention had been paid to spelling, punctuation and grammar in recent years.

However, heads are arguing that they should be left to assess pupils in spelling, punctuation and grammar and that the 'technical English' tests will lead to further narrowing of the curriculum for year six students by forcing teachers to teach to the tests.

The National Association of Head Teachers has introducing a motion to disrupt the SPAG test at its conference with a unanimous vote of 98.8% to find ways of stopping the test going ahead.

A DfE spokeswoman said: "Too little attention has been given to spelling, punctuation and grammar over the last decade.

"That's why we have accepted Lord Bew's recommendation to assess spelling, punctuation, grammar and vocabulary as part of the writing test at Key Stage 2."