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Press Cycle: School Testing
Following the contribution to the debate by the Prince of Wales, are pupils tested too frequently?

Closes 3rd June 23:59
Acting Head Admin
Speaker of the House of Commons
Advisor for the Labour Party, the Cabinet Office and the Home Office
Poll wrangler and election psephologist

I forget Andy has political opinions. I always just think of him as a Civil Servant in real life - Mac
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In order to improve our children's learning environment, we must continue to test them on book smarts, but also on how to survive in the real world.
"the fagnoglin"  Moray Mac Gill Fhaolain MP Aberdeen North 1964-Present

1973-1974 Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
1976-1978 Secretary of State for Transport
1978-1979 Secretary of State for Scotland
1979-1987 Shadow Secretary of State for Workers and Pensions
1992-Present Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Constitutional Affairs & Devolution

fmrly Sean Kapur fmr. Shadow Minister of Environment, Housing, and Ag 
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I would like to echo the concerns of His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, as they relate to education. Schools are not meant to be technocracies which impart specialized knowledge on children in the hopes that they will become useful factory drones; it is a place to open the eyes to what is true, beautiful, and good. Defensive teaching, brought about by the steady increase and frequency of examinations, is to the detriment--indeed it is the antithesis--of a good, solid education in the humanities. I believe that all primary and secondary schools should be giving children a solid basis in the classics and humanities, which will in turn make them better workers and better citizens.
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R I C H A R D • D E • V I L L I E R S

Shadow SoS for Regions, Nations, & Devolution | Constitutional Affairs

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To many students exams are frightening, however they are also a very useful aid in a student’s education as a key motivating factor to encourage students to learn more. They compel us to solidify what we have learnt, study further and practice skills.

Thanks to them, students have to revise old lessons to obtain important issues. Thanks to them, students have to investigate all possible questions and absorb this new knowledge. Thanks to them, students have to sharpen our logical and critical thinking, which are essential skills in life.

In addition to this, examinations help to examine students. They show students’ knowledge, abilities and even characters. They help teachers to gain a better understanding of their students and as a result adapt their teaching methods to cater for their students. Exam results also help to make learning strategies.

Exams are an important part of school, challenging students to work hard and achieve the best they can, however it is important for our schools not to become entirely exams based. School should be about imparting knowledge to our nation’s young people, exams are an aid in this, not a replacement.
Sion Rowlands MP
Minister of State for Education and Skills (2003- Present)
Member of Parliament for Cardiff Central (1992 - Present) 

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An unelected Cambridge grad who was educated by a Governess and then a series of public schools has very little to contribute to a debate about how best to teach in the state system. I'd rather we listen to parents, teachers, educationalists and businesses who want children to perform well in their examinations so that they can find a good job. Is that not the purpose of education? Public school boy who scraped a 2:2 thinks we should get of exams but employers who run the economy want highly skilled candidates for their companies, who do you think I'm going to listen to?
Aaron | Coaching Admin
Civil Service roles: FCO, MoD, Environment
Press roles: Foreign coverage
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There has got to be a balance struck between too many exams and too few. Yes exams are good as a measure of how much you have learned but life isn't just about remembering facts and figures, we have got to encourage a more rounded view of schooling and assessment. There should be a greater emphasis on coursework and other methods of examination, these can be spread out over a greater period meaning that the same amount of testing can be done without the stress caused to our children and young people. We cannot afford to let our standards slide, but there is an alternative that is better for student welfare and that would see our children better prepared for the world of work. A greater emphasis on coursework, essays, and homework problems could do the job of testing far more effectively and in a far more realistic set of circumstances, I for one cannot remember the last time I was asked to do a report when my boss told me that I was banned from using external materials such as a calculator.

'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded. - Friedrich Hayek
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman
Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. - Milton Friedman

Mac the Great and Powerful
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In terms of education, we need to put Britain in a global context. Ultimately our students will be the driving force of Britain's economy in the future, which is why it is critical that we try to push our educational standards in every way we can to be ahead of Europe and Asia. When our learning standards slack then the United Kingdom slacks, and why anyone would want to less the rigor that has been a cornerstone of Britain's education for centuries is beyond me.
Terry Roberts, MP for Southampton Test
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Shadow Foreign Minister

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