17th December 2018

Children are being let down by SATs

As schools across the country learn the final results of this year’s KS2 SATs tests, campaign group More Than A Score has called for an overhaul of the current assessment regime.

Madeleine Holt, spokesperson for More Than A Score, said:

“Children and schools are being let down by the system. Last Spring, 10 and 11-year-olds sat a series of tests under highly-pressurised exam conditions. They had spent a year preparing for these papers at the expense of a varied and stimulating curriculum. And for what purpose? Simply so they could be tested and their schools placed in a league table.

“Now over a third of 11 year olds have started secondary school branded a failure, and 364 schools have been told they are ‘below the primary school floor standard’.

“There are many ways to assess pupils and schools, but SATs make no sense. Sitting 36 maths questions in 30 minutes does not always demonstrate the breadth of a child’s problem-solving skills. It’s difficult to instil a love of language when lessons become focused on learning technical grammatical terms. Reading and understanding the nuances of a text should not be measured by reductive comprehension questions answered in a pressurised environment.

“At a time when children should be preparing for secondary school and enjoying a rich curriculum, they are cramming for tests and being used as data points.

“What’s more, SATs affect children’s targets for all subjects at secondary school. This means children who do well in SATs could be told they are failing if their marks from year 7 onwards do not match their year 6 results.

“The government must listen to the concerns of teachers, experts and parents and take action to protect our children’s education and well-being.”

More Than A Score is giving parents the chance to try sample SATs papers for themselves: Try your luck here!


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