A government that doesn’t listen; a narrowed curriculum; unnecessary pressure on children and teachers, and concerns for the well-being of the children in their care: our latest research among heads and primary school leaders has revealed the extent of headteachers’ and primary school leaders’ frustrations with the government’s increasingly pressurised assessment regime.

Our research reveals:

  • 93% believe the current system should be changed
  • 87% believe the government doesn’t listen to the views of heads when making policy
  • 96% have concerns about the pressure of SATs on the well-being of pupils
  • 98% think teachers are put under unnecessary pressure because of SATs
  • 93% think SATs lead to a narrowed curriculum

Andy Richbell, a headteacher from Portslade, comments: “I should be held accountable for the taxpayers’ money I spend in my school but testing each individual child isn’t an effective way of holding me to account.”

Rebecca Loader, a headteacher from Suffolk, comments, “Teaching is a great job. What isn’t great is the pressure from external sources to reach unattainable, unrealistic goals.”

To find out more, read our press release.

16th January 2019

Baseline assessment: out of the frying pan, into the fire

Primary school leaders will soon be faced with a dilemma. The government will be encouraging them to join a trial run of tests on four-year-olds starting school next September. Should they go along with baseline assessment as a trade-off for removing statutory testing at the end of Key Stage One? Or would this be swapping one nightmare for another, and storing up big problems for the future?

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27th September 2018

Heads, teachers and parents agree: the phonics check is nonsense

As the Department for Education announces the results of this year’s phonics screening check, new research reveals that heads, teachers and parents overwhelmingly oppose the controversial reading test for six-year-olds.

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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

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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.

Get involved

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There are lots of ways that you can demonstrate your opposition to the current assessment regime.  Our action toolkit includes resources and advice to help you take action.

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