For the first time in 30 years, the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green parties have all committed to abolish SATs and overhaul the system of standardised testing in primary schools.
We have now reached a tipping-point as parents, teachers, heads, education experts and politicians agree: the current testing regime makes no sense and is damaging for pupils, teachers and schools.
This term, parents of children in year 6 have seen the effects for themselves: a narrowed curriculum and unnecessary pressure on pupils and teachers. Children in year 2 are also facing SATs tests, while those in in year 1 have been learning “nonsense” words, instead of discovering the joy of reading, in preparation for the phonics check.
It doesn’t end there: year 4 pupils will soon face a times tables test with only six seconds to answer each question, and — perhaps most controversially of all — four-year-olds across the country will be tested in English and maths when they start school in September.
Our most recent research showed that 93% of heads and primary school leaders believe there should be a change to the existing system which currently cares more about measurement than our children’s education.
It doesn’t have to be this way. There are more supportive ways to assess children and fairer ways to measure schools, without the need to turn children into data-points.
It’s time to listen to the teachers who know our children best. It’s time to stop ignoring the opinions of education experts. It’s time for parents, teachers, heads and politicians to stand together to change the system.
You can learn more about the Labour party’s education policy here.
You can learn more about the Liberal Democrats’ policy here.
You can learn more about the Green party’s policy here.