‘They turn schools into test factories’: 10 reasons to abolish Sats.

The TES asks: How useful is Sats week? Not very, this educationalist argues…

And so we reach that time of the year again: the dreaded Sats Week.

Months and months, even years and years, of cramming come to a climax as we attempt to ensure our pupils tackle 5 hours of papers – all with content set by The Powers That Be, who couldn’t be further from our classrooms. 

What do they prove? Nothing. 

Do they improve anything? No.

So why do we put our pupils through such a system of torture? I struggle to find a single coherent argument. 

With that in mind, I give you my 10 reasons why we should kill Sats. Dead.

  1. Sats do not raise standards. And isn’t that what education is all about? People who know very little about education pore over the data Sats produce, mistakingly believing that it has value. Take it from one who knows: it does not. 

  2. Sats have a negative impact on learning. The reality is that these tests turn our pupils off education in droves. At just 11 years of age, they might see themselves as failures. Fun has been driven from the classroom – too often, daily life in Year 6 amounts to nothing more than endless preperation and test papers.

  3. Sats have created schools with a narrow primary curriculum. Nearly everything in schools is now geared to some test or other. And that’s because schools need to achieve a good overall score, or else. A broad and balanced curriculum became a distant memory many years ago.

  4. Sats have a negative affect on pupil wellbeing. I have lost count of the number of children crying or distressed on test days. No matter how hard we try, they genuinely believe that these tests will control their futures.

  5. Sats are not a reliable way to measure pupil achievement. How could we ever expect this? Five hours of boring papers cannot tell you what a pupil really knows, how they think or what they can really do.

Read 5 more reasons ‘They turn schools into test factories’: 10 reasons to abolish Sats.

Do you agree that we should kill Sats? Dead. Or do they serve a purpose? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin

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