Union ballots on Sats boycott as MPs call for testing to be suspended

The TES is reporting that a  headteachers’ union is continuing to step up its campaign to boycott next year’s Sats tests despite the government’s assurances that primary assessment will be reviewed in 2017.

The National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) started its indicative ballot of members on Friday last week – just two days after education secretary Justine Greening pledged to launch a new consultation about the future of primary assessment.

On Wednesday last week, the minister revealed that she would be abandoning the government’s controversial plans for Year 7 Sats resits and promised that there would be no new national tests or assessments until 2018-19.

Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the NUT, said:  “We are actively consulting members for their views on primary assessment in general, in light of the government’s latest announcement.”

The motion, submitted yesterday, expresses concern about “the negative impact of [Sats] on students in years 2 and 6 and on their teachers” and calls for a government review of curriculum and assessment in primary schools in England.

It adds that “the pressures associated with examinations are among the main causes of feelings of stress and anxiety amongst children, which can in turn lead to lower performance, poor study skills and low self-image.”

The motion also expresses “further concern for the morale, health and wellbeing of teachers who are suffering an increased and highly demanding workload due to preparation for Sats” and calls for a suspension of current arrangements while a review is underway.

More at: Union ballots on Sats boycott as MPs call for testing to be suspended

Do you agree with reviewing Sats and the stress they place on young children? Do you think we need to have Sats at all? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

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  1. scoaf80

    SchoolsImprove a brave move by any head that decides to boycott. I know the stress on teachers though; I teach a sats year!

  2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: these tests have no educational value and distort what is taught.  Their only purpose is to judge schools and set a spurious level from which ‘progress’ can be measured in Progress 8.  (Can anyone tell me exactly how progress in science, humanities, languages, creative subjects can be measured against tests in just reading, writing and maths?  The idea is bonkers).

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