Sats are no better than teachers at predicting pupil’s GCSE and A-Level results, study finds

Researchers from King’s College London (KCL) say their findings call into question the benefits of standardised exams.  The study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, found teacher assessments at age 7, 11 and 14 were just as effective as using Sats results to predict pupils’ subsequent exam success. The Telegraph reports.

Dr Kaili Rimfeld, one of the report’s lead authors, said: “We have shown for the first time that teacher assessments predict GCSE and A-level results just as well as earlier exam scores.  

“The fact that exam scores correlate so highly with the teacher assessments raises questions about the value of the testing culture that characterises compulsory education in the UK.”  

The researchers made the comparison by linking data from more than 5,000 twin pairs in the Twins Early Development Study with teacher assessments and exam scores in the National Pupil Database.  

The research comes ahead of thousands of Year 6 children starting their SATs on Monday.

Ministers have said that axing Sats would cause “enormous damage” to education and undo decades of improvement in children’s numeracy and literacy.  

Earlier this week, the chair of Ofqual said that Sats in primary school are necessary to show that taxpayer money is being well spent.

Read more Sats are no better than teachers at predicting pupil’s GCSE and A-Level results, study finds

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  1. Phil E

    SATs are damaging children’s mental health. They were brought in because schools were fudging their assessments and the government needed a way to measure progress without getting their hands dirty.
    I propose replace the exam markers with Ofsted-type inspectors. Call them attainment inspectors and visit every school do a book trawl and compare the assessment the teachers have given with what it should be. If they match the school pass, if they fail the school has to have a formal Ofsted inspection (as a deterrent).

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