Headteacher bans ridiculous SATS tests
2017-05-19 European News Comments Off on Headteacher bans ridiculous SATS tests
A primary school in Leeds has banned its pupils from taking Sats exams, after seeing too many children crying over them last year.
Headteacher Jill Wood, from Little London Primary, said she was willing to put her job on the line by taking the decision not to run the controversial national tests this month.
Pupils at the school will instead be measured using alternative methods, such as on-going learning checks throughout the year, as well as less official assessments at the end of term.
During Sats week this month, pupils were taken out on educational trips to visit nearby points of interest, she told The Yorkshire Evening Post.
The country is spending billions on childrens mental health, so why are we putting them under pressure? the school leader said.
We just felt last year we had children sobbing in exams and it upset me so much, I just said I cant do this again. They are a ridiculous, unnecessary strain.
Im in breach of my contract of employment, but I feel very passionately about it.
A few weeks ago, Education Secretary Justine Greening announced plans to scrap the national curriculum tests taken by six and seven-year-olds from the next school year.
The move follows years of pressure from parents and school leaders who say the tests put children under too much stress at too young an age.
Instead, the Department for Education proposed a new system in which children would be assessed in a more casual atmosphere when they first start school.
This would reduce the burden on teachers and pupils, the Department said.
TheConservatives General Election manifesto published this week noted that pupils schools would face stricter accountability inKeystage 3 assessment, however.
While Ms Wood said she was not against assessment itself, she said she had made the decision not to run Sats because they made little sense when schools had free reign over how to measure performance during the rest of the year.
The tests hold no weight at secondary school, she added, as pupils tend to sit new assessments in Year 7.
She said: If one school is measuring in bananas and the other is measuring in pineapples, how can we all sit standardised assessments?
Why do we test our children in May anyway? There is another two-and-a-half months of learning time, she added. Schools should be accountable, but there is a better way.