“Today’s announcement means that, despite the hard work of teachers and pupils, over a third of 11-year-olds will arrive in secondary schools in September labelled as ‘below the expected standard’. This devastating outcome is the result of policy-makers’ delusion that to measure the performance of our school system it is necessary to test each individual pupil, and to prepare pupils relentlessly to be tested. The stress this causes for children and their schools is building up.
“In a survey of their experience of primary assessment in 2018, published yesterday (1), over 90% of NEU members reported that SATs adversely affected pupils’ well-being, with 86% saying preparation for SATs squeeze out other parts of the curriculum.
“The real story of SATs isn’t the headline figures, it’s the damage that our test-driven system is inflicting on primary schools day in, day out throughout the school year. A narrow curriculum, stressed children, over-worked teachers: these are the signs of an assessment system that needs root and branch change.”