Writing Sats test 'should be axed'
Primary national curriculum tests in creative writing should be axed, an independent review is expected to say.
But 11-year-olds should continue to take so-called Sats tests in maths, reading and spelling.
Lord Bew's independent review of national curriculum tests is set to pave the way for a shake-up of the controversial Sats tests.
The English and maths exams, taken by pupils at the end of primary school, are fiercely opposed by teaching unions, with a boycott held last year.
The review is expected to call for the current writing composition test to be replaced by teacher assessment.
The move would allow pupils to be more creative and overcome concerns that youngsters are being "taught to the test", the review is likely to say. But they should still be tested on their spelling, as well as their grammar, punctuation and vocabulary.
The review will argue that an externally marked test on these areas will boost standards and is appropriate as there are clear right or wrong answers. Together, the spelling and composition papers make up the current English Sats test.
Teachers have previously argued that the test is hard to mark because answers are open to interpretation, and it puts pressure on pupils. Traditionally, there are more complaints about the marking of the English test than maths or science.
Lord Bew's review is also expected to say: children should continue to sit an externally marked maths Sats test; the reading test should also remain, but be refined over time; speaking and listening tests should continue to be marked by teachers.
Children should also sit a science test, assessed by the teacher. It should be the same as the current system, but there should be a sample test to monitor national standards; there should be more data made available, with greater emphasis on pupils' progress and the performance of low achieving pupils.