Saturday, 28 March 2009


I fully support the move by the National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Head Teachers to boycott next year's SAT tests in primary schools.

The independent Cambridge Primary Review has already said that SAT tests and league tables are incompatible with their curriculum reforms (see February 20th posting) and the less far-reaching changes advocated by the government initiated Rose Review make little sense within the constraints of a narrow exam-orientated curriculum.

The two unions are putting identical resolutions to their Easter conferences that state they will conduct this year's tests for 11 year olds, which take place in the week beginning May 11th, only on condition that they are the last.

My experience as a teacher and head teacher on the negative impact of the tests on children's enthusiasm and enjoyment of learning was endorsed by the NAHT's general secretary Mike Brookes, when he said, "There is high stress for children children; some will already be spending up to 10 hours a week rehearsing these tests. It's a complete waste of time. It is unconscionable that we should simply standby and allow the educational experience of children to be blighted."

I couldn't agree more. The Green Party remains the only main-stream political party to support the abolition of SATS and League Tables in order to return creativity and a love of learning to primary schools.

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