‘Damaging and counter-productive’ SATs force seven-year-olds to perform at GCSE level, heads say

The Chronicle Live is reporting that primary school headteachers in the North East have hit out at “damaging and counter-productive” Government-enforced tests for young children.

In May, pupils in Years Two and Six were the first to sit a series of new SAT tests, designed to be more “rigorous” than those prescribed under the old curriculum.

A report by Schools North East (SNE), which represents all the area’s schools, shows local heads think the new system was badly implemented, and that at their worst, the tests could put children off coming to school.

Matthew Younger, head of Colegate Community Primary School in Gateshead, echoed the concerns expressed in the report.

He said: “The tests themselves were flawed, the management of the tests and their introduction was chaotic and badly managed.”

For Mr Younger, the demanding nature of the tests, as well as the pressure on schools to ensure all their pupils make the expected grade, could prove harmful to students.

“To have to tell seven-year-olds and 11-year-olds that they have ‘failed’ runs counter to the values and beliefs of our schools and can only be a disincentive for pupils so early in their educational careers.”

More at: ‘Damaging and counter-productive’ SATs force seven-year-olds to perform at GCSE level, heads say

Do you agree that the new SATs are too hard for young children and cause them unnecessary stress? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!


Inconsistency in policy making jeopardises FE reforms, report suggests
'Tolerance' for GCSE English and maths resits funding to be extended
Categories: Primary.


  1. Evidence:  
    Effective – Assessment to find out where a student is in their learning journey and provide the support needed for them to take the next step.
    Effective – using the data from the above privately to help a teacher or school improve their teaching.
    Ineffective of damaging – Assessment used to publicly judge or label a student or as part of a public judgment of the school or teacher.

  2. northernteacher

    In primary schools we’re now aiming to educate children to such a high level that the first 2 or 3 years in high school are ‘boring’ for them.  The high fliers become switched off as they’re just revisiting work already covered.  Whilst I agree all children should be encouraged to reach their potential, many of the questions in these tests knock the confidence of ‘average’ children as the standards in them are so high.  It doesn’t matter how you try to administer them, children are not stupid they know these tests are important.

  3. These tests are not necessary.  They have no educational value.  At the same time, there are issues at the testing agency which raise likelihood of future error.  Time for tests to be boycotted if not scrapped altogether.  http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2016/11/issues-at-testing-agency-increase-likelihood-of-future-mistakes-says-dfe-review-time-to-scrap-primary-tests

Let us know what you think...