Debate: Should SATs be scrapped?
25 March 2008Add to My Folder
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SATs – Stress Activating Time Snatchers, or Sensible Academic Tests of Success? Five of our contributors have their say
Huw Thomas — Headteacher
Of course, if by SATs you mean our current national tests reported on in league tables, then it’s obvious that we should scrap those monstrosities in a big bonfire, and dance around the heaps of burning papers. They are responsible for the reduction of children’s learning, deadening of imagination, corrosion of primary science and the constriction of Year 6.
If, by SATs, you mean a standardised means of keeping a tally on consistent standards, then of course, we shouldn’t scrap them. We should introduce them. The drive to standardise assessment has meant an overall rise in learning, with schools recognising that it’s our job to turn out literate and numerate children.
The problem is that the current tests aren’t SATs. They aren’t actually about assessment. If they were, we wouldn’t boost and cram. We would just assess. By placing so much focus and pressure on that one hideous punishment we call SATs week and then parading schools through the press on the basis of those results, making them the obsession of inspectors, our current system doesn’t assay the abilities of our children.