Schools Minister tells Brighton conference he’d already seen the SATS test question he got wrong

Posted On 05 May 2016 at 4:39 pm
Schools Minister Nick Gibb told an education conference in Brighton today that he’d already seen the SATS test question that he got wrong during a BBC Radio 4 interview this week.

Mr Gibb said that he had discussed sample test questions at length with his advisers, questioning whether they were too tough for 11-year-olds.

They included the question about whether after was a preposition or a subordinating conjunction in a particular sentence.

Mr Gibb told the Brighton College Education Conference: “I looked at the very question I was asked on Radio 4 and discussed it with my advisers which is why I was surprised I got it wrong.”

Nick Gibb

Nick Gibb

Children absorb information, he said, and would be able to answer questions about spelling, punctuation and grammar if they were taught well.

The minister, who is also the MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, also defended the government’s approach to academies as part of a set of policies – along with testing – aimed at raising standards.
And he added: “In a few years’ time we will have a generation of pupils leaving school with a better grasp of grammar than I have.”
But he told hundreds of head teachers: “The old-fashioned notion that if only the state sector could learn from the independent sector, everything would be ok, is wrong.”
He was asked by former Portslade teacher Ian Jungius, now head of Willingdon Community School, about the independence from local councils conferred on academies.
Mr Jungius, who retires in July after 23 years as a head, said: “Independence brings with it the opportunity to succeed and fail.
“How can you be sure that giving the greater independence will guarantee a greater degree of success and there will be the capacity to pick up on schools that are moving towards failure as schools can fail very quickly?”
Ian Jungius

Ian Jungius

Mr Gibb said that local authorities had not been swift enough to tackle failure in the past although he conceded that some academies had performed poorly or failed.

Many more though had improved, he added, and hundreds of thousands of pupils had benefited from the academies policy
Mr Gibb said: “We can act more swiftly when academies are failing than local authorities have historically managed.”
He did not say how.
Other speakers included the Conservative MP for Mid Sussex and former Rottingdean schoolboy Sir Nicholas Soames, journalist Charles Moore, who wrote Margaret Thatcher’s biography, and the historian David Starkie.
Brighton College head master Richard Cairns gave the opening speech of the day-long conference which has leadership as its theme.
One of the most powerful speeches of the day came from Brighton College governor Joan Deslandes who spoke about her experience in leading an East End school in London.
She is the head teacher at Kingsford Community School which works in partnership with Brighton College.
  1. malcolm marshall Reply

    Where does all the money come from all these talking shops when BHCC have to close public toilet.
    All of these live in they’re own private little world like Cameron and co

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