They have won my vote many a time, but the thought of Labour in charge of primary education genuinely fills me with dread.
I GUARANTEE that whatever they replace SATs with, it will increase the teacher workload and will be as valid and reliable as a Soviet power station. My heart genuinely sank reading Jeremy Corbyn’s comments on their new assessments.
If this cuddly post-SATs paradise doesn’t involve some horrendous, turgid ticklist and evidence portfolios piled a mile high, I will EAT MY PHONE.
SATs tests involve less workload and stress by far than the only teacher assessed subject in Year 6 (writing). Turn up, teach your heart out and let the government do the rest. No assessment frameworks and no moderation.
I am a teacher. My family are teachers. But I just don’t understand the lazy sanctification of teachers embodied in Corbyn’s speech. There are THOUSANDS of terrible, terrible teachers out there.
In my individual career alone, I have seen FAR too many bad schools to believe that we are ready to ditch standardised testing at KS2. The stakes are just too high.
None of this is to say that SATs should be left as they are. In fact, if I had my way they would look almost unrecognisable.
If you have read my blogs, you will know my thoughts on the ludicrous size of our primary curriculum. SATs as they are ensure that children leave with knowledge a mile wide but an inch deep.
We need properly invigilated, standardised tests which ringfence the most valuable knowledge and guarantee unfaltering fluency for as close to 100% of children as possible.
I will end with a sobering fact: in the final year that science was assessed by a SATs test, 88% of children reached the expected level. Since making it teacher-assessed, this has fallen to 23% (its 9% for children on free school meals... NINE per cent!).
Yes, there was a part of me that was excited at the thought of no more SATs. But this is the same part of me that doesn’t want to get out of bed when the clocks go forward. It is TOUGH getting your entire class to a good level. Huge case for reform but this goes too far.🔷
You may read a longer version based on this piece in the Guardian.
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(This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article, with the author’s consent, with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.)