Commenting on the release of national data for 2022 SATs, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:    

"Students and teachers have worked incredibly hard this year, but it remains the case that SATs and other statutory tests do not support children’s learning.  Our members tell us every year that a system that sets children up to pass or fail by the time they are 11 cannot be good for their mental health. They want children to develop a love of learning. Instead they report children who cry and display anxiety, while others become disengaged with their learning. They comment that preparing children for high-stakes tests lowers the quality of their education; in the months leading up to SATs, everything is focused on teaching to the test.  

“The NEU wants children to have a broad curriculum that nurtures the qualities they will need in life and a new system of assessment that enables this. Through the Independent Commission on Primary Assessment the Union is working to develop alternatives to England’s outdated and damaging system. (1) 

“The union fully supports today’s protest by More Than a Score." 

Editor’s note 

  1. Independent Commission on Assessment in Primary Education