“Zero-tolerance of failure” as Tories order school resits

DAVID Cameron has said the Conservatives will be the “union for parents” as he announces a compulsory school resits for English and maths.

Prime Minister David Cameron leaves 10 Downing Street
Prime Minister David Cameron leaves 10 Downing Street

The Prime Minister will be joined by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan today with a promise to introduce new measures to stop pupils falling behind when they start secondary school.

From 2016, any pupil who doesn’t achieve a good pass in English and Maths tests taken at age 11 will be required to take a resit test in the first year of secondary school.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

These resit tests will be designed to make sure that pupils who leave primary school without being able to read, write and add up properly have caught up by age 12.

Department for Education Statistics show that around 100,000 young people fail to reach the expected standard in English and Maths at age 11.

Announcing the move, Mr Cameron said: “The Conservatives are the union for parents.

“These past five years we have been about getting changes in place which stretch our children – and the results have been extraordinary. The next five will be about finishing the job.

“More discipline, more rigour, zero-tolerance of failure and mediocrity.

“There is no job that doesn’t require English and Maths and this is about making sure every child gets the best start in life and that our country can compete in the world.”

Mrs Morgan said: “We know that the biggest predictor of success at GCSE is whether young people have mastered the basics at age 11.

“That means if we fail to get it right for young people at the start of secondary school they’ll struggle for the rest of their time in education.

“Under Labour one in three children left primary school unable to read, write and add up properly, thanks to our reforms and teachers’ hard work we’ve seen that fall just to one in five.

“But even one child falling behind, or being written off, is a child too many.

“That’s why the next Conservative Government will require schools to enter any child who doesn’t have the literacy and numeracy skills they need to succeed in secondary school, for new Year 7 resit tests that will guarantee they’ve caught up.”