SATs controversy

Teacher: ‘Most challenging exam in my 29 years’

Adam Gillman, College student and Reading Socialist Party member

“This was the most challenging reading test I have seen in my 29 years as a teacher”. This was a quote from one primary school teacher that oversaw a controversial extremely hard SATs test for 10 and 11 year olds this year.

And even younger pupils – aged 6-7 in ‘year two’ – sit these types of exams. SATs are nominally meant to show pupil progress.

But, in reality, they promote unhelpful school league tables. Well-off schools (usually private) boast about their pupils’ performance, rather than anything to actually benefit the students. Schools with less resources are left behind.

SATs tests cause lots of stress and anxiety to students. And the recent tests have been harder, with GCSE-style questions which left pupils in tears, as they couldn’t figure out how to answer. There is so much preparation for SATs that it adds to the massive pressure on the pupils, parents and staff.

That’s why the National Education Union (NEU) and the Socialist Party think SATs should be scrapped.