On 2 July 2020, the Government announced:
‘We are planning on the basis that statutory primary assessments will take place in summer 2021. The Early Years Foundation Stage profile, and all existing statutory Key Stage 1 and 2 assessments, should return in 2020 to 2021 in accordance with their usual timetables. This includes:
- The Phonics Screening Check
- Key Stage 1 tests and teacher assessment
- The Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check
- Key Stage 2 tests and teacher assessment
Test results will continue to be used for accountability purposes, with school level results being published in the usual way.
The union is strongly opposed to these plans, which are both unrealistic and damaging to pupils’ learning and well-being. These tests did not go ahead in summer 2020 and were not missed. Pupils have missed nearly four months of schooling through lockdown; results from national tests would not be comparable with other years, and they will hold schools accountable for issues outside their control, such as family poverty and access to technology. The Government has already halted the roll-out of Baseline next academic year, now it must go further to cancel all Government primary tests in 2021. The NEU is working with other unions, with parents and with More Than A Score to argue for a change of direction. As a first step, you can sign the More Than a Score petition, ‘Cancel SATs and all formal government tests in 2021’.