A debate on national testing and its effect on secondary pupils At the age of eleven, England’s schoolchildren are among the most literate and numerate in the world. By sixteen, many quit education, disillusioned and under-prepared for adult life. And the evidence seems to suggest that their disenchantment begins with the transition to secondary school. Critics lay the blame on too much national testing. Over the past ten years, they argue, the education system has become increasingly obsessed with performance targets. The Government claims it’s tackling the issue head on with a range of bold initiatives. But with testing and league tables still in place, will any of it work?