Pupils should not be stressed by SATs, says SoS.  Scrap them then.

Janet Downs's picture

Pupils should not be stressed by preparation for the tests (SATs) taken at the end of Key Stage Two, the education secretary Damian Hinds wrote in the i.  

SATs aren’t public exams, he said, but tests which should be treated exactly the same as other tests such as ‘spelling or times table’.

Their core purpose is to help ensure primary schools are teaching our children the key skills and knowledge in maths and English that they will need to go on to succeed at secondary school,’ he wrote.

It’s disturbing that successive education secretaries think a mandatory, national test is essential to make sure teachers act professionally.   

Hinds is being disingenuous when he says schools must just tell their pupils to do their best and leave it there.   SATs are high-stakes exams for schools.  They’re used to judge schools, local authorities and academy trusts. 

If Hinds is serious about relieving stress caused by SATs, there’s one simple answer: scrap them.  SATs are of no use to pupils, Hinds has admitted that.  Worse, SATs have no educational value.  It’s time to drop them.

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John Mountford's picture
Fri, 22/02/2019 - 14:54

Of course, the SoS is right. He always is. After all, he is a very important person occupying a seat of power and whatever he says goes. That may sadly be what he believes. The truth is something different. This man is a menace. Not only does he fail to tell the truth and refuses to toe the line, even when he is sanctioned by parliamentary and other authorities when he maliciously and wrongly quotes fake-facts about education, he is also actually harming young people.

In light of his comments today, I'd like to remind the Mr Hinds, '1984' was a work of fiction. It's power to provoke deep thought and challenge our view of justice hung on the idea that at some time in the future (published in 1949) governments would come to power with the capacity and intention to rewrite history, even as it was daily unfolding. It was scary, as is Hinds' audacity to proclaim, "Exams and tests have their place in education and they always will. But you won’t be asked how you did in your SATs during a job interview."

He may be factually correct, unusual though that is for him, to claim no one asks about SATs during a job interview, but plenty of interest is shown in the results of these pointless tests when kids get to secondary schools because their (the schools) wellbeing depends on just how reliable and realistic the results from those tests are when they have to trump up Progress and Attainment 8 targets for all their pupils. It is now clearly established that primary schools, and more than a handful at that, are gaming the system because they too are held to account in the highly marketised, data-dependent culture that unbelievably passes for a modern, progressive and inclusive education system.

The behaviour of the Secretary of State for Education and his ministers is all the evidence one needs to understand why our political system is currently viewed with such disdain internationally. Our political overlords do not listen. Worse than that, they unquestioningly believe the crap they spout which puts them beyond reform. We need to empty parliament, institute proportional representation to set us free from the blight of the current failed system and look for people of integrity to lead our proud nation. Go to the back of the class, SoS and join the rest of the rag-bag.

Nairb1's picture
Fri, 22/02/2019 - 21:17

There are two school on the outskirts of the town where I live, fairly close to each other but occupying very different catchment areas. The first considers a contact from social services about a pupil once a year to be an unusually high number. The other considers six contacts a day to be the norm. The first will abandon the curriculum for Y6 from the start of next week in order to 'cram' for SATs. The other, with the full support of the a governors and parents, will not. Guess which one appears near the top of the league tables and each year celebrates its continued exam (their word) success. Guess which one is under continual Ofsted pressure.

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