Continued from earlier, here are some more responses to the idea of some year 7s resitting Key Stage 2 SATs:
Nick Soar. @Soarpoints Head of Bishop Challoner Catholic Girls’ School, London:
The statement of intent from Conservatives that pupils will be made to re-sit their SAT papers obviously requires greater elucidation and explanation. I await this. Yet, on the surface the aim of allowing re-sits, here, seems to be obtuse, whose only impact will be more teaching to a specific examination. It leaves aside the wider teaching of what may be needed for that particular pupil. However, it seems to ignore the many ways secondary schools have already developed (based on recent research) for transition including narrowed curriculums, personalised interventions, PP catch-up accountability, pastoral dialogue, numeracy programmes and phonics work.
Rachel Orr @RachelOrr Primary Head Teacher North East of England:
‘A good pass’ at the end of Y6? What does this actually mean? The aim for primary schools is just to get all children to ‘a good pass’? At present that would mean those Y7 students in September 2016 who did not achieve L4 will be resitting – do they keep resitting and resitting until they achieve L4? Where does leave children in special schools? What has this to do with developing a child’s potential and individuality based on your own starting point? By proposing resitting L4 in Y7, the Conservative Government will simply determine the end result of primary education – which in turn will be an end to children losing themselves in the love of learning as they will see the main aim of education as passing tests!
Mike Craven. @MikeCraven5 Science teacher and Labour member, who has been teaching about 10 years now in and around the southern region of Greater London:
So, apparently students who are below expected standards of literacy at their KS2 SATs are to be forced to resit them. Can someone please tell me what this will do other than further disengage students before they come to us as Year 7? Children with literacy issues are more likely to be those who do not cope well with the demands of a formal examination structure, they are those who would benefit from small group support and teaching to help them make the progress they need, but they will instead be forced into resits. Who exactly does this help?
Richard Farrow. Year 5 teacher in the north-west. He has been a (on/off) labour member since 1996:
It’s a bad policy, badly thought out and supported by a cabal of advisors and think-tank types whose only knowledge of primary school is from when they were in one. But the main fact is the Tories haven’t even finalised how the sats tests in 2016 will even be graded, so what is the point of this announcement? SEN are excluded from it, so cue the avalanche of dyslexia diagnoses from primary and secondary schools, exacerbating an already growing problem area. The 2016 sats need cancelling and someone has to have the bottle to do it.
Andrew Old, Secondary Maths Teacher and Editor of Labour Teachers
I really don’t have a problem with the concept of testing or using tests to set aims for schools, and I’ve defended some fairly controversial tests and exams. However, this doesn’t seem to have been thought through in some key respects. Those who are falling behind at the start of Key Stage 3 don’t necessarily need a curriculum based around the content of Key Stage 2 tests, or worse, exam practice for Key Stage 2 tests. They need the fastest possible route to catch up with their peers. This also seems to ignore the promises made on workload.