Monday 10 September 2007

Child's play

I have some sympathy with the authors of the latest letter to the Telegraph from children's experts when they complain that an ultra-cautious society has made it too diffficult for children to play in parks or enclosed streets. But their assertion that children don't play enough because there is too much testing is too silly for words. Before the age of 14 there are two short sets of tests for all: one at seven has moved so far from being a serious national test as to be unrecognisable; those at eleven are the only independent measure we have of whether 11 year-olds - not five or six-year olds - can read, write and add up. Of course, children need more freedom to play. They also need the 3Rs if they aren't to spend the rest of their lives playing around.

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