Socialist Party
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11 May 2016

Let kids be kids: children 'strike' against Sats tests

Samantha Lane

As a parent whose child is in the foundation stage at school, and with another who is starting this September, it is important to me that we take action against Sats tests now.

The Sats are a measurement of the school and not for the benefit of the children. Teacher assessments of the students' progress are important to inform them of how to help the children develop but the Sat tests are not required.

I am also a teacher of psychology and am acutely aware of the psychological impact this current government's regime for testing is having on children's mental health.

Some of my friends' children have been very upset and worried about the tests. This should not be happening at primary school, they have enough of this to come in the future.

Therefore I believe it is important that we campaign against them. Head teachers have recently agreed they are not fit for purpose and action needs to be taken.

Teachers also believe this, and now with the backing of parents this gives the schools confidence to take actions such as not publishing the results and a possible boycott.

Along with thousands of other children, my daughter went on strike on 3 May, she had a lovely day with her father at the museum, sketching art work and reading in the park in the sunshine. She was aware she was on strike and why, and this in itself is a valuable lesson in standing up for what you believe in.

I am not aware of any other children on strike from my daughter's school, so the continued campaign by Let Kids Be Kids to make parents more aware is important. We must continue to show our support to schools in their endeavour to make education appropriate for children.

The government is supposedly trying to drive up standards but the current year two standards are inappropriate for children six or seven years old. All they are actually doing is putting children off enjoying their education and creating unnecessary anxiety in such young children.