Scrap Sats for 11-year-olds, say teachers

School tests for 11-year-olds should be scrapped because the grades are being manipulated to meet government targets, teachers said today.

School tests for 11-year-olds should be scrapped because the grades are being manipulated to meet government targets, teachers said today.

National tests, known as Sats, put too much pressure on primary school children and get in the way of real education, according to delegates at the Professional Association of Teachers' (Pat) annual conference.

And the final results are becoming "increasingly meaningless" as standards are eased to meet the political objective to increase the proportion of children getting good marks.

Geraldine Everett, from Hazel Primary School in Leicester, told the conference that pupils were being used as "political footballs" and "tested to destruction".

"Exam stress is a serious issue for young teenagers," she said.

The primary school curriculum has become too narrow as many teachers are required to drill pupils for Sats at the expense of other classes, she said.

Westminster should follow the examples of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly and abolish formal testing for 11-year-olds, she said.

"Political interference has meant that the standards and the basis of the tests has been changed frequently in an effort to achieve government targets - massaging," she said.

"The actual results have become increasingly meaningless."

Pupils should have their first formal tests at the age of 14, before they choose their GCSE options, Ms Everett added.

The conference, in Buxton, Derbyshire, voted overwhelmingly in favour of her motion, which called for the end of "formal and external testing" for pupils at primary school.

The union's demand follows moves by the government to tone down national tests for seven-year-olds, announced last year.

Press Association

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Support for decision to scrap Sats for seven-year-olds | Letters
Letters: James Smith believes the focus of primary school should be on building relationships and a love of learning, Tony Roberts addresses a crisis in teaching and Colin Richards says four-year-olds will sabotage efforts to measure progress


15, Sep, 2017 @4:35 PM

Teachers to decide on Shakespeare Sats

Teachers are being consulted over plans to overhaul English tests for 14-year-olds which earlier this year stood accused of "dumbing down" Shakespeare.

Polly Curtis

03, Oct, 2003 @1:40 AM

Teachers back boycott of Sats

The threat of massive disruption to primary and secondary tests loomed over schools today, after a poll showed strong support for a boycott among rank and file members of the largest teaching union.

Staff and agencies

24, Oct, 2003 @1:18 AM

Key stage 3 Sats results fall amid administrative problems

Nearly a third of 14-year-olds have failed to reach the required standards in English, maths and science – a worse performance than last year

Anthea Lipsett

12, Aug, 2008 @9:14 AM

Article image
Ed Balls scraps Sats for 14-year-olds at key stage 3

Move triggered by collapse of marking process and high-profile critical reports on the tests

Polly Curtis

14, Oct, 2008 @2:40 PM

Teachers want to abandon SATS

More than 90% of teachers want to boycott national tests for seven-year-olds, according to a poll carried out by the National Union of Teachers.

Staff and agencies

16, Oct, 2002 @1:16 PM

Example Sats questions for 11-year-olds

A small selection of questions asked of primary school pupils in last year's exams

15, Oct, 2008 @12:10 PM

Article image
Scrapping Sats for 14-year-olds: the background

Controversy over the tests reached a peak with this year's marking crisis. But the problems run much deeper

Polly Curtis

14, Oct, 2008 @2:38 PM

NUT 'in synch' with teachers over Sats

The leadership of the National Union of Teachers is not out of synch with its members, its general secretary insisted today, after a vote to boycott national tests failed.

Roxanne Escobales

16, Dec, 2003 @4:35 PM

Parents and teachers pressure Clarke over Sats

A coalition of primary educators and parents today launched a campaign to pressure the government to drop Sats for seven-year-olds.

Polly Curtis

19, May, 2003 @2:38 PM