Teachers launch campaign to urge Government to review SATs

Teachers have urged the Government to give the go-ahead to an independent review of the National Curriculum tests.

Teachers have urged the Government to give the go-ahead to an independent review of the National Curriculum tests.
The tests – popularly known as SATs – cause ”additional stress” for pupils and are ”not reliable enough” to be used for school league tables, claim the teachers’ unions.
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) have criticised the tests taken by 11-year-olds as failing to drive up standards.
In a joint document, Make Assessment Measure Up, the unions say: ”They just cause additional stress for pupils, teachers and parents and are not reliable enough to be used for school league tables.  Secondary schools know this,  which is why they often retest pupils when they enter Year 7.  It is absurd to think that somehow a narrow set of tests can be used as a proxy for evaluating the success of schools.”
Instead, they want ”meaningful” assessment to be the main indicator of a child’s performance.
Mary Bousted, general secretary of ATL, said: ”Politicians need to understand that no assessment system can work properly if it is used for the kind of high stakes currently attached to tests and exams.
”They also need to look at the evidence – pupils progress better when they receive regular feedback on their work.”
This year, a quarter of schools are thought to have boycotted the tests.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has agreed there are flaws in the system and has said he will hold a review into the tests.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, said: ”The fact that members in schools boycotted the Key Stage 2 SATs this year, and that very many who didn’t remain deeply opposed to the current high stakes testing system, is a very clear message to the Secretary of State.  There is an opportunity to move forward on the basis of professionally acceptable assessment which will contribute to, not detract, from learning.”





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