“I want a system that measures the progress that children make throughout their time at primary school fairly and accurately, a system that recognises teachers’ professionalism in assessing their pupils, and a system which does not impose a disproportionate burden.” Justine Greening
“It is important that we have a proper, considered debate around these proposals so that we can move forwards to a stable, trusted primary assessment system which delivers strong educational outcomes for all children, regardless of their background, ability or any additional needs they may have.” Justine Greening
“I want as many people as possible with an interest in the future of primary education to participate in these consultation exercises and to share their thoughts.” Justine Greening
So this is interesting and shows the tide most definitely turning. Pearson write the tests and their interim report into primary assessment echoes many of the points that we’ve been making:
-The concerns of government are prioritised over and above the needs of teachers and pupils.
–Teachers do not feel their professional judgment is valued highly enough.
They are concerned about the impact assessment is having on the curriculum.
-Children with SEND are put at a disadvantage by an assessment system which does not recognise their capacities and needs.
-Teachers are concerned about the dominance of assessment-for-accountability.
-Teachers, parents, governors and pupils all feel anxiety over the impact of high stakes tests.
-Assessment (ongoing as well as terminal) can cause unreasonable workloads.
-Teachers and parents have significant concerns about the accuracy and consistency of assessments.
The DfE are investigating SATs because they aren’t sure they have things quite right. They want YOUR views. Your voice is perhaps the most important that they hear. If you are a pupil who has just had SATs this is your chance to tell the people in charge, in the government, what you thought of them. Don’t worry – this is how democracy works, we are lucky enough to have freedom of speech in our country and they told us that “this consultation is for anybody with an interest in the early years, primary education and the way that pupils are assessed in school. This includes… young people “. We are sure they would find what you have to say really interesting and it might help make a difference for children younger that you who might do the tests next year. Thank you so much! Ask a grown up to help you on this web page: LKBKx
If you haven’t taken part in the DfE’s consultation on Primary Assessment DO IT NOW! They want to hear parent voices too – we are the experts of how these tests affect OUR children!
LET KIDS SHINE CAMPAIGN – MAY 3rd 2017
Please read our plan for alternative action below, spread the word as far and wide as you can… and go buy some glitter!
Let Kids Be Kids are DELIGHTED that teaching unions (NUT and ATL ) are starting to make plans to boycott SATs in 2018… it’s a shame that things didn’t move quickly enough for the children of 2017 but we want to show teachers our support for action ASAP.
We are also encouraged that the DfE is investigating primary assessment and talking of scrapping Year 2 SATs in 2020. We are concerned though that so many children are STILL going to be put through flawed tests and the narrowed curriculum in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Parental action in 2016 was fantastic and no doubt encouraged this change. Media attention in 2017 is going to be focused on the election… SATs will not get much of a mention. We need a different approach to ensure the SATs of 2017 don’t go unmarked or ignored… we’d hate those with the power to make change think we no longer care!
Many parents are boycotting the tests and we hope that you will all continue to share plans and ideas on this page in support of this. But we know that’s not possible for everyone, especially in our post-Platt, Orwellian school fines system!
Here’s a suggestion of how we can all mark May 3rd 2017… in a very sparkly and shiny way to highlight that childhood should never by dulled down and that the SATs system is a mess!
LET KIDS SHINE CAMPAIGN – MAY 3rd 2017 PARENTAL ACTION
This year on 3rd May we’re asking you to send glittery letters and cards to teachers and heads to thank them for helping your child to SHINE, despite the narrowed curriculum they are asked to deliver in order to pass the ridiculous tests. Get your children to help you make the cards as SHINY and SPARKLY as you can and pop in something like this little poem to encourage them to take action alongside their unions…
We’ve signed the petitions, we’ve been on strike,
we’ve posted and tweeted with all our might.
We’ve nearly got there – change will come…
but 2020 is just too long!
Our hope rests with you to boycott the SATs…
to put a stop to this madness at last!
Please use your ballot to boycott – it’s high time!
Together we can make our children sparkle and shine!
LET KIDS SHINE CAMPAIGN – MAY 3rd 2017 TEACHER / HEADTEACHER ACTION
On May 3rd perhaps staff could wear something super sparkly to work?! We know many teachers feel they can’t openly speak out but this might be a way to show us your support in a secret, sparkly way?! Wonderful heads who support the notion that primary assessment needs a drastic overhaul could even hold a sparkly non-uniform day and encourage children to SHINE all day long!
LET KIDS SHINE CAMPAIGN – THROUGHOUT MAY 2017 – LET’S ALL REMIND POLITICIANS OF THE MESS THEY’VE CREATED
Please send a lovely glittery card to a politician you think needs a reminder of how childhood should be… and for good measure pop in an extra handful of glitter as you seal the envelope for a lovely surprise upon opening! Each little grain of glitter on their carpet might make them think about all those little children who are still being put through SATs and the total mess that’s been created!
Here’s a suggested message for the inside of your card:
We have high standards for our children – we want them to SPARKLE and SHINE during their childhood, developing a life-long love of learning and an excitement for the wonders of the world. The DfE have identified that the current primary assessment system is a MESS but are prepared to wait until 2020 to make any change. Parents and teachers are the ones currently clearing up the MESS that’s been created by SATs… it’s taking a lot longer for us than it will for you to sweep up this glitter. We hope our glittery message serves as a reminder of the MILLIONS of children still suffering a narrowed curriculum, in a dulled down, test driven school system which does not encourage our nation’s children to SHINE. Waiting until 2020 to make a change is immoral and unfair; our children are the future of this country – they only get one chance at their education and they need your help. Stop the SATs – and the damage – now!
Not sure who to write to… you could try these powerful people:
Check your local MP via https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/
THANKS AS EVER FOR BEING SO POSITIVE, PROACTIVE AND POWERFUL,
LET KIDS BE KIDS
Let Kids Be Kids started last year as just 5 parents wanting to try and make a difference and is now delighted to be part of something much bigger!
Let Kids Be Kids is a member of the More Than a Score campaign – members include the NUT, The Association of Educational Psychologists, The National Association for Primary Education, The Save Childhood Movement and The British Educational Research Association and we are all fighting for a common cause – an alternative to the current, damaging system of primary assessment.
Since May 2017, many local parent groups have been set up and there are now so many things happening across the country at local levels that we can hardly keep up!
We have been contacted by so many parents willing to boycott SATs this year. Many parents have already made the decision to keep their children off school on SAT test days. They realise that this isn’t a perfect solution but feel it is the only action left available to them… waiting for political change will be too late for their child and they want to make a stand against what they know is wrong for so many children across the country.
We also know of many headteachers who are supporting boycotts of the SATs by parents, and indeed in some areas, schools are promising to boycott the tests themselves.
We have therefore been asked to share a letter that can be used by those who want to raise the issue with their school, which you are free to edit, copy, and amend as you see fit. We hope that it helps you raise your concerns with your Headteacher, whilst also encouraging the school to show you the respect of being honest about the current state of Primary Assessment. We hope that parents and Headteachers can use this letter to see a way to work together to make positive change happen.
From discussion on our Facebook page amongst parents and teachers it is our understanding that a school has a legal duty to administer tests to children, in school, on test days. Parents do not, as of yet, have a legal duty to have their children in school every day. They may educate their children off site for what sympathetic headteachers feel is an EXCEPTIONAL circumstance.
Whilst many feel inspired to boycott the SATs this year, this is not going to be appropriate for everyone. We hope that people will also continue to create local groups and attend events; to discuss the issues surrounding the curriculum; to encourage debate with parents, teachers and head teachers and share what they have planned and what you achieve, so that nationally, in working together we can ALL achieve more.