Responding to the NAHT Conference decision to lobby the Government to cancel SATs in 2021, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

"We welcome the NAHT stand. Teachers and headteachers are now united in their call for cancellation: the Government should listen.  

'Statutory assessment in 2020/1 serves no useful purpose. When some schools are hit far more than others by the effects of Covid, SATs cannot function as a fair measure of comparative performance. When teachers and head teachers are trying to re-engage children with their learning, and deal with issues of poverty and mental health, SATS are a damaging distraction. Teacher assessment is a constructive and workable alternative. 

'Gavin Williamson should wake up to reality, pay attention to the experience of schools and prepare now for the changes which circumstances are all too likely to force upon him later".