Monday, May 10, 2010

SATS Boycott

This week the SATS are due to take place across England to test those in year 6. Some teachers and headteachers are boycotting them for a variety of reasons such as:

Schools spend too much time teaching specifically to pass these tests.

Children are put under too much pressure at an early age simply for their school's benefit

The tests do not give a reliable indication of pupils' ability.

The results are used to publish league tables of schools which humiliate the awful ones.

Other teachers and parents support the SATS tests claiming that:

Without them parents would have no idea which schools were effectively teaching their children Maths and English and which were not.

It's only one set of tests- we had tests every year at school. They also get children used to sitting exams.

If we get rid of them, what do we replace them with?

No doubt you have your own views on the subject which are of course welcome.


Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

"If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear."

Strange how that applies only to the general population, never to public-sector employees.

This boycott is being organised in an attempt to conceal the mismanagement of the education system from the public. All those taking part in it should be instantly dismissed.

Anonymous said...

Whatever. It must be time to start tinkering with the education system again soon, anyway. Just as soon as they decide which numpty gets the job.

Anonymous said...

we like SATS. Its the only way our children can show their potential. Without independent tests its always the teachers favourites who get the good marks.

Ben said...

My 10 year old is taking her SATS right now.

"Schools spend too much time teaching specifically to pass these tests."

I've read the papers, and it is Reading, 'Riting, and 'Ritmatic. Yes, the school is putting in special effort to get good marks, but you know what? That's why I send them to school - to learn reading comprehension, spelling (tomorrow), and calculating simple sums such as what is 15 as a percentage of 50.

The SATS test what they should be learning. I love the maypole dancing, and what-not too, and I am lucky to have local school which has lots of good additional activities. But if they had to ditch something, I would rather it was the extras not the 3 Rs.

"Children are put under too much pressure "

Good. They'll get used to it, then it won't be pressure.

"The tests do not give a reliable indication of pupils' ability"

That's true. However neither do teacher assessments. One great benefit of the SATS is they are measures which are *independent* of the teachers. Teacher assessments are useful too -- we want both, as some pupils might perform badly on the day due to individual circumstances. On the other hand, one or three pupils might "perform badly on the day", but if all 30 do, it is the teacher.

"The results are used to publish league tables of schools which humiliate the awful ones"

Or as our head said, reluctantly deciding to proceed with SATS, they don't properly recognise the difficult circumstances of other teachers in poor areas.

You've got the child for FIVE YEARS people! If you can't teach them to read, write and multiply, you are doing something wrong, wherever they start from!

Central User said...

Eleven year old nephew taking SATS this week. Troublesome, statemented etc etc. Really looking forward to them, trying hard. What sort of message would it have given him if he'd turned up at school this morning to be told "Oh, you're not doing them anymore"?

I am making no observation on the tests themselves, simply the message that boycotting them gives to school children.

phatboy said...

Is it true that schools spend up to 11-weeks revising for SATS? I saw a TV show where the head teacher was interviewed and made it clear that in her school they stopped teaching the kids for 11-weeks so they could revise... obviously it happens there but does it happen elsewhere?

I have no problem with the tests but I do have a problem with about 3 months being wasted covering ground that should have been taught properly in the first place.