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Calling headteachers: support the Drop SATS 2021 campaign

In the current climate of post-Covid anxiety, statutory assessments such as SATs, the Phonics Screening Check, and the Multiplication Tables Check are a wholly inappropriate way to assess young children and their schools. Instead, we believe that low-pressure, teacher-led assessments provide all the information we need in order to identify the learning gaps, bridge those gaps, and ensure a smooth transition to secondary school.

Teacher-led tests enable us to prioritise the safety, mental health and wellbeing of our pupils, some of whom will have experienced distress and even bereavement during the pandemic. We want our children to thrive after such a long period away from school and to start to love learning again. We also want to teach a rich, broad and stimulating curriculum – we certainly don’t want to cram children for high-stakes statutory tests in phonics, English and maths.

Obviously, schools need to be held accountable, but basing performance on one-size-fits-all tests taken by youngsters in the year following the Covid-19 crisis would produce only meaningless data. It would also put unnecessary pressure on children who have been through enough.

Join fellow headteachers, politicians, child psychologists and parents in an urgent conversation on assessment in a time of Covid-19. The wellbeing of our pupils, not test results, comes first this year.

We’d love to hear your views, so please do join our webinar at 5pm on Monday 21 September.

In an ideal world I would not want to ever put a child through this.

21st September 2019

New research shows primary heads condemn the negative effects of SATs across all school years

“In an ideal world I would not want to ever put a child through this.” A ‘strait-jacketed’ curriculum across the […]


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18th March 2019

Primary school leaders deliver damning verdict on high-pressure testing

A government that doesn’t listen; a narrowed curriculum; unnecessary pressure on children and teachers, and concerns for the well-being of […]


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The evidence

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The evidence against the current system of standardised assessment is growing.  Academics and educators agree: the regime is not fit for purpose.

The alternatives

Download the book

There are alternatives to the current regime and the time is right for debate among heads, governors, parents, politicians and parents. Our contribution is Beyond the Exam Factory, a book bringing together experience and expertise from England and internationally.

Drop SATs 2021

Sign the petition

If you believe that the current testing regimen is doing nothing to help children and staff after a destabilising and anxious period away from school, sign up to our #DropSATs2021 campaign

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