20,000 signatures reached
To: Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening
Suspend primary testing in Yr2 and Yr6 for 2017.
We want Justine Greening to listen to the many, many parents, teachers, unions and mental health experts who are calling for an end to inappropriate testing that is damaging to our children.
We want a full educational review of primary assessment and for the necessary time to be given to this through the suspension of Yr2 and Yr6 SATs for 2017. We want teacher assessment to be used during 2017.
As the new Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening has a chance to put things right. She is in a position to make the changes needed in our current education system; we need her to show that she respects and trusts teachers and their knowledge of what is needed in education.
Why is this important?
We believe that the DfE is damaging the mental health of children through its excessive testing and is devaluing education by promoting rote learning of age-inappropriate grammatical concepts.
If we do not suspend tests this year then we are setting our children up to fail by forcing them to be part of a system that does not consider them individuals, but instead data on a page to be analysed.
We are creating children who are stifled and demotivated due to continuous and unnecessary teaching to the test. We are setting schools up to fail and leaving them open to academisation.
• The focus on the EU referendum has meant little focus on education – we are about to face the same situation as in 2016 again with our children potentially labelled as failures due to tests which are inappropriate and demoralised teachers forced to teach a curriculum they feel is wrong.
• The new tests have been developmentally inappropriate for the age groups involved. Children have been set up to fail. Thus supporting the Government’s plans for academising all schools. 47% of children ‘failed’ Yr 6 SATs this year.
• English children are the most tested in Europe.
• Mental health experts and teachers agree that excessive testing is harming our children.
• Testing has become ‘high stakes’ due to pressure on teachers as tests are linked to performance related pay.
• The testing structure in 2016 was filled with flaws including leaked papers.
• The NAHT have called for a ‘complete overhaul’ of the current system, supported by a motion carried by 99.6% of delegates.
• The NUT described the situation as a ‘car crash’.
• 97% of teachers surveyed by the NUT agree or strongly agree that preparation for the SATs has had a negative impact on children’s access to a broad and balanced curriculum.
• 90% of teachers surveyed think that changes to primary assessment this year have had a negative impact on children’s experience at school. Expressing the damage that the new system has done to pupils, teachers write of demoralisation, demotivation, and physical and mental distress – effects, they predict, will be lasting.
We want teachers, unions and mental health experts to be able to work together with the Government to create a curriculum that encourages our children to develop inquiring minds and a love of learning.
This takes time... We are very concerned that adequate time has not been taken in the current political climate to ensure another assessment ‘car crash’ does not take place in 2017.
How it will be delivered
We plan to have the petition delivered in Parliament as part of a debate to be held on the overhaul of the primary curriculum. This will help to show the strength of feeling across the country about the changes needed.