Teachers, politicians and children’s best interests

Four recent correspondents in The Times (Sat June 16th) all found fault with the examination system inflicted on children in most schools in the UK. One of them, a teacher, speaks of an assault on youth and innocence.
Why don’t more schools take up alternatives such as the International Baccalaureate which is beyond the reach of politicians? More particularly, why do teachers impose on younger children the Standardised Attainment Tests, required by government, which they have themselves condemned as harmful?
Were the government to suggest  the saving of vast sums for the NHS by abandoning anaesthetics in operating theatres – reduced staff costs, patients declining surgery and others dying and not therefore requiring post-operative nursing – the medical profession would not blink but would continue to do what it believed best for its patients.
Were right-handed teachers told by the government to write on boards with their left hands, and vice versa, they would do so. Until teachers are prepared to face down politicians for the sake of their charges nothing will change, children will suffer and literacy and numeracy standards among young British adults will remain at the bottom of the OECD’s table of standards among the world’s most developed nations to which they have plummeted, from the top, over the last thirty years.

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