Tuesday 3 May 2016

SATs Protest: 'Parents, you have done us proud!' declare #LetKidsBeKids

The #LetKidsBeKid
s have issued the press release below after today's action:


To all of the parents, grandparents, friends, and most importantly, children who took part in an amazing today, a huge thank you! You are amazing people who have achieved something enormous! We salute you all! 
Thank you to all of the teachers and headteachers who supported both the events and the children in taking part. This has been in support of you. 
The press has played a massive part in the success of this campaign. We want to thank you for the interest you have shown and for the dedicated and thoughtful way in which so many of you have worked with the supporters of the campaign in order to enable us to share our opinions. In many cases, opinions that, as parents, you have shared with us. 
Thank you also to the many, many supporters who have rallied to the numerous calls to appear on radio and TV and to be interviewed for newspapers. You have done us all proud! It has been amazing to hear so many standing up for what they believe in. 
We have monitored the day from the tagboard http://bit.ly/KidsStrike3rdMayNow and have enjoyed watching the thousands of pictures coming in of children enjoying fun learning everywhere. We are happy to report that no child looked damaged or harmed in any way as a result of missing one day off school. Thank you for your concern DfE. Children visited museums, enjoyed woodland walks, learnt about democracy, engaged in scientific discovery, painted, sang, danced... they did all the things that kids should be doing. Today we Let Our Kids Be Kids. 
Highlights for us today were watching over 600 attendees and Children’s laureate Chris Riddell at the Brighton and Hove rally showing support for their amazing teachers; banner waving children handing over more than 47,000 signatures on our 38 Degrees petition to the DfE offices and knowing that at 12.30 we were united via this statement in shouting “Are you listening Nicky?” across the nation. We really hope she heard us... 
We were also encouraged to hear Nick Gibb MP so publicly demonstrating the problems with SAT tests on Radio 4 when attempting to answer questions for 11 year olds... he said ‘it’s not about him’ and he’s absolutely right. This is about OUR children who feel the pressure of these ridiculous tests just as he did today. 
Throughout the day over 400 events took place across the country; the absence letter has been downloaded over 63,000 times; our hashtag #KidsStrike3rdMay trended and we have been sent thousands of pictures of smiling happy children so far. 
We have a leading statistician compiling the figures (parents are statisticians too!) but for now are delighted to estimate that today we are reporting numbers in HIGH THOUSANDS. This is far bigger than we imagined this would become just over 5 weeks ago... what an amazing show of parent power!
This figure does not include the thousands of parents not able to strike due to work commitments who took letters into school to say they supported our action today and also want to see change.
We have shown in just over 5 weeks that there is an enormous enthusiasm nationwide for the cancellation of this year’s chaotic SAT tests. 
Today was about standing together to share our belief that the education system in this country is damaging our children. It was about making our voices heard. It was about working together to bring about change. It was just the start. 
Parents have shown their massive support today for their children’s teachers and have demonstrated clearly that they want to see a change. We need to see teachers, unions and the Government working together with us now to find a way that works. Not just a way to pass tests, but a way that encourages a lifelong love of learning in our children and that develops, through a curriculum rich in a wealth of experiences, the confidence, imagination and passion for learning that will help our children to succeed. 
The NAHT stated that ‘The government must step back from its piecemeal, last minute changes and engage with the profession now – well in advance of next year – in a fundamental review of assessment from reception to key stage three.’ Parents have shown today that they are offering teachers their full support - now. Please support us and act NOW to make this happen. 
To Nicky Morgan: we have shown you today that we want to discuss education with you. Teachers, parents and students. We are asking you again to do the right thing. 
Will you listen to us now?

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