Thursday, 1 September 2016

NUT prepared to work with other unions for SATs boycott in 2017 if government does not make changes

From the NUT
Commenting on the publication of provisional 2016 Key Stage 2 results, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:
Today's provisional 2016 KS2 results need to be taken with a large pinch of salt. They are the outcome of a chaotic process of assessment, hastily introduced and badly designed. A system in which nearly half of those assessed are told they have not met the expected standard is not a system which is working well for pupils. A system in which the relative performance of local authorities varies so widely from one year to the next will not command public confidence.

The data tells us little about educational quality that we can trust. Yet it will be used to judge the performance of schools, and in hundreds of cases to judge them as failing. This is completely unacceptable. Teachers and head teachers believe that there is no case for intervention, action or ranking of schools on the basis of data which is meaningless as a measure of quality.

The case for a complete rethinking of assessment in primary schools is overwhelming - this deeply flawed system must not be allowed to do further harm to pupils and to teachers in 2017. The National Union of Teachers calls for the suspension of current arrangements for testing, and for the development of alternatives which can command public and professional support. If the government is not prepared to make the changes needed, then the Union is prepared to work with other unions to boycott both KS1 and KS2 SATs.

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