TEACHING unions called for the abolition of Sats exams yesterday after almost 40 per cent of primary pupils in England failed to meet expected standards in reading, writing and mathematics.
One teaching union said children who failed were treated as “collateral damage” in response to the Department for Education figures showing that only 61 per cent of pupils had reached the expected standard in 2017.
National Union of Teachers general secretary Kevin Courtney said 95 per cent of teachers surveyed about Sats said the tests “reduced pupils’ access to a broad and balanced curriculum.”
He said the tests tell 39 per cent of 11-year-olds that they have not reached “the expected standard” for their age group and are not ready to begin secondary education.
“This demoralising situation says less about the efforts of teachers and pupils than about the deep flaws of our current system,” Mr Courtney said.
“Designed to hold schools to account, it treats primary children as collateral damage.”
Association of Teachers and Lecturers general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said that Sats have a “negative impact” on children and “the exams are not fit for purpose.”
She said: “Having a good knowledge and understanding of English and maths is important for all children.
“But the assessment of writing is not fit for purpose and has undermined the teaching of writing in many primary schools, as well as causing significant workload for teachers.
“We call on the government to urgently reform this aspect of the assessment system.
“Sats are at the centre of a toxic accountability system that is driving teachers and leaders out of the profession.”
More than half a million 11-year-olds in England took the tests.