Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/301/13795
Education: New Labour's triple crisis
SATS - Clarke tries to head off boycott
EDUCATION SECRETARY Charles Clarke has announced that more weight will be given to teachers' assessments when testing seven-year-olds. National targets for test results for 11-year-olds will also be postponed for two years, with schools allowed to set their own targets.
However, Clarke insists that the government will stick to its principles of testing, targets and league tables.
Linda Taaffe, a leading member of the campaign to boycott SATS - the school tests, which every pupil at present sits at ages seven, eleven and fourteen - told the socialist:
"This is an attempt to head off the campaign for a boycott of SATS, which is proving so popular amongst teachers. But it's not fundamentally changing the system. It's not taking away the tests. As long as the number scores remain, there will be numbers to be crunched in the system. They will still be used for league tables and Ofsted, the government's education inspectorate.
"This is just a very small step in the right direction and we'll be keeping up our campaign for a boycott."
Teachers, support assistants, parents, school students and anyone else interested in this campaign is invited to a meeting on 28 June, 11am-3.30pm. At South Camden School, Charrington Street, London WC1 (10 minutes from Euston and Kings Cross.) Information from http://satsmustgo.tripod.com
In The Socialist 24 May 2003: