FAQs

Why have you started this campaign?

This campaign aims to highlight the unnecessary stress that SATs tests place on both teachers and children. The tests are too hard for such young children and our teachers are forced to ‘teach to the test’ in order to prepare the children. Year 2 children are just 6 and 7 years old – too young to be revising, looking at past papers and sitting tests in silence!   Year 6 children are facing high pressure tests at the end of primary education – facing being labelled as  failures before they’ve even started secondary school!  As a result of these tests, our children’s curriculum has become narrowed and extremely prescriptive. We want a return to a creative, teacher-led curriculum that encourages joy and wonder in learning, a curriculum that engages and inspires our children, rather than one that demotivates and disengages them.

This campaign is to show the strength of support felt by parents across the country for their children’s wonderful teachers who we know want the same as us: to be able to inspire children in a love of learning in a way that is appropriate to their age.

What is the aim of this campaign?

We wanted the SATs of 2016 to be cancelled!  We now want to make sure that the ‘car crash’ does not repeat in 2017.
We want to stop externally set, high stakes, SAT testing in schools and return to teacher led assessment.

Is the protest only for children in Year 2?

The protest began focused on children in Year 2, however since then many more parents have become involved who are concerned about their own children taking Year 6 SATs and also parents with children in other year groups children who will face this testing in the future.  The protest on May 3rd included all primary aged children. We did NOT encourage parents to keep secondary aged children out of school.

Why 3rd May? There were no tests then…

The 3rd May was chosen specifically as a NON-TESTING DAY. If a child in Yr 2 is absent for a test day, they may end up taking the test separately from the rest of their class, thus causing more stress. We hoped that the support of so many parents around the country would encourage teachers to feel that they can boycott the SATS as unions suggest they want to. The day sent a strong message to Nicky Morgan that parents DO care about education and want change. We take our children’s education very seriously but feel that the current regime of constant and inappropriate testing is unfair and unnecessary for both teachers and pupils.

Were the tests different in 2016?

Yes, the tests this year are much harder than in previous years. Another issue is that teachers have not been given enough time to prepare children for these tests due to changes made by the Government. As a result, many teachers feel that their pupils are being set up to fail.

Please see here and here for some examples of SATs related work we have been given.

Do teachers support your campaign?

Our Facebook page and Twitter timeline is full of supportive comments by teachers from all over the country. We have also had a lot of support from Headteachers; many of whom have written us letters of support to publish on our site such as this. University lecturers have also written articles in support of our campaign via letters such as this. We also have reports from many, many parents of the support shown by their own Headteachers when approached. Some schools have also released official statements such as the following:

Shoreham

 

What next after 3rd May?

A few people have been in touch wondering what’s next and asking when’s the next strike?!  We want to let you all know that we are in a state of limbo right now… a limbo of hope!   As you know the petition and the action on 3rd May were in SUPPORT OF TEACHERS TO BOYCOTT SATS.

We had hoped that, given the chaos surrounding this year’s tests and the cacophony of voices calling for a stop to the tests that the best Interests of OUR children would be put before political agendas and the tests would have been scrapped for 2016.

We know that we made a massive statement on May 3rd about what we think learning should look like We know that we helped to build a picture of incompetence in this DfE. We showed that this Secretary of State is NOT listening to parents.

We know that teachers and head teachers have said that this should never happen again. They called for a complete review of the primary assessment system. We welcomed that with open arms.

We are in a state of limbo waiting to see what ACTION teachers and headteachers are going to now take. We are confident that lots of work is being done behind the scenes and we are urging them not to take too long about it… before another cohort of children are put through the same thing again.

Someone described this year’s testing system as a ‘car crash’ that was allowed to happen by a government who ignored head teachers, teachers, parents and children.

It is now down to teachers and headteachers to ACT to stop another car crash from happening next year.

We are watching very carefully to see how parents can once again show their SUPPORT for teachers who want to ACT to make change happen.

Parents will not stand by and watch it happen again.

The Kids Strike of 3rd May was organised by 5 parents in 5 weeks… with NO funding and NO media or campaign training. At least 8000 children were off school on 3rd May. 5000 parents who had to work sent in letters of support. Now local groups are springing up and the word is spreading far and wide. Next time we could be even bigger, even more co-ordinated, even more able to deal with the media frenzy! If we need to do show our discontent again we are sure there would be many, many more people supporting this campaign.

We hope that it does not come to that.

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11 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Can I just ask, If I keep my children out of school on the 3rd how does that cause a wider impact? Surely they will just be marked as absent, no reason recorded? Is there some way of getting actual figures of the number of children taken out of school in this day? I know there are large numbers of people who have signed the petition but the strike is more of a petition with your feet (so to speak) it would just be interesting to know how many children are kept out of school on tuesday and then for that to be made public knowledge.

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    • We are doing our best to record this ourselves via the event map system we have set up and the hashtag #KidsStrike3rdMay but also have some other methods which will hopefully accurately record numbers. Thanks

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      • My children are in Yr 1 & Yr 3, I handed the absence for all years letters to my children’s headteachers today to explain their absence on Tuesday. I was asked by them if there is any where they can record the absences as they are keen for it to be noted rather than just an absence.

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  2. I have a son in year 2 and a daughter in reception. Is it just year 2’s people are keeping off school or all primary? I’m happy to send my reception child but just as happy to keep her home with my year 2!
    Also how can you access the details of any events taking place?

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  3. I would love to know how parents in Wales can support the campaign, and whether it is relevant to Wales, where we no longer have SATs but do have National Literacy and Numeracy Tests in years 2-9. Do you have a template letter that is relevant to Wales, and also, do NUT members in Wales get a vote on the SATs boycott?

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  4. I’m undecided about keeping my year 3 and 5 off school tomorrow.
    I fully support teachers boycotting the year 2 SATS, but surely that is for teachers and their unions to decide? How will us not being at school send more support than signing the petition and sending the letter to school advising i support a boycott of SATS?
    I just need to fully understand the reasons before making a final decision.

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  5. Is there a correct procedure to follow for keeping children home tomorrow to support the cause? Or do we just call in the morning in the usual way and explain.. My son is year 6 and the tests he’s practicing are as difficult as GCSEs, I work in a secondary school.
    He is very stressed and continually worrying about not reaching the unrealistic goals.

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  6. I didn’t get a chance to download a letter. What should I say when I call the school to leave a message tomorrow?

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  7. Are there any plans to show that Year 1 Phonics Screening is also unnecessary? For children who are struggling this just lowers their confidence further and for bright children they are using many more skills than just phonics to read.

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