Here’s the whinging bit… just some of the things we are gravely concerned about. (If you are looking for something a bit more positive please see our Vision page!)
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.
EDUCATION SELECT COMMITTEE
When MPs themselves are advising that SATs must stop surely to goodness the DfE have to listen?!
“…all four of an expert panel that advised the government on placing greater emphasis on traditional grammar in its primary curriculum now have serious reservations about either the tests, or the curriculum development process.” Guardian 9th May
TEACHERS AND HEADTEACHERS
If teachers are concerned then we as parents should too be concerned… here’s what the Unions have to say.
- National Union of Teachers have stated that “teachers are in despair about the health and well-being of their children and the damage to education brought about by these flawed tests.”
- The Association of Teachers and Lecturers described the tests as the ”boil” on the “carbuncle” of the primary curriculum.
- NASUWT have stated that the government’s approach to primary testing in 2016 was “unsustainable and educationally flawed”
- NAHT are conducting an independent review of assessment, the chair of which states he is “disappointed and concerned by the recent crisis in assessment”
Here’s the latest video from the fantastic More Than A Score…
Please watch this video – it’s a simply wonderful explanation of what we are fighting against. Watch for the nose picker! Far too young to be a failure!
MENTAL HEALTH Former Mental Health Tsar Natasha Devon …
“What really annoys me is that we say to young people exhibiting symptoms of mental illness: ‘What is causing this?’ They say: ‘The amount of academic pressure I’m under.’ And then people say. ‘Well, it can’t be that – or you just have to suck it up.’ This is the biggest obstacle to social change. People talk about building resilience in children because life is tough – but stress is to mental health what avocados are to dieting. You need a little bit of stress in your life, but you can’t constantly use that as an excuse to put more and more and more pressure on children.”
MENTAL HEALTH – Dr Margot Sunderland 2016, Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health London
“By introducing such tough exams to six and seven years old, on punctuation, grammar and maths (graduates in English saying they couldn’t answer some of the questions), we are not only robbing children of the delights of natural discovery, learning freely through play, awe, wonder, we are also paving the way for future more mental health problems.”
MENTAL HEALTH – Childline
“A recent Childline report should be of concern to us all. After family relationships, low self-esteem and unhappiness were the second most common reasons why children contacted the helpline last year. The statistics add to growing evidence that children are struggling to cope with the complex world around them. From the demands of school to the pressure of the digital age, children are feeling pressured to conform and be successful like never before. We need to give them a break – it’s time to let them have some fun and play.” (Anne Longfield, January 2016, Children & Young People Now)
United Nations has “serious concerns” about UK Government’s failure to prioritise children’s needs
The UK Government is not putting children at the heart of its policies, a coalition of charities warns, following a damning United Nations report into children’s rights in the UK…
NUT research – “Exam Factories”
This independent study by Professor Hutchings uncovers how the accountability agenda in England has changed the nature of education in wide ranging and harmful ways. It is not serving the interests of children and young people and is undermining their right to a balanced, creative and rewarding curriculum. It is an approach which is cultivating extreme pressure in both the primary and secondary sector and risks turning schools into ‘exam factories’.
TED talk – killing curiosity
LIMITED PLAY IN CHILDHOOD
Education in almost every country in the world is subject to the grip of education ‘reform’ which is diminishing public schooling, promoting privatisation and destroying teacher professionalism. It aims to produce a narrowly educated workforce, which can read instructions and advertisements but is discouraged from thinking critically about the world.