Sats & opposition to them.

The teaching profession’s opposition to Sats testing comes with the announcement reported  by The Guardian ’s education editor Polly Curtis that two unions, The National Union of Teachers will put the plans to its annual conference over Easter, while the National Association of Head Teachers,  representing more than 300,000 teachers and heads in England, say they will conduct the 2009  tests of all seven and 11-year-olds in May only on condition that they will be the last.

Mick Brookes, the NAHT general secretary, said: “Testing narrows the curriculum and makes learning shallow, because the tests are simply regurgitative. Then the results are published in league tables, and schools in the toughest areas, where you’ve got hardest to teach children, are ridiculed on an annual basis. There is high stress for children; some will already be spending up to 10 hours a week rehearsing these tests. It’s a complete waste of time. It is unconscionable that we should simply stand by and allow the educational experience of children to be blighted.”

Christine Blower, the NUT’s acting general secretary, said: “Primary schools’ patience in enduring the damage caused by the tests has been stretched to the limit, and beyond. Our deadline for the end of Sats by 2010 is reasonable, and our alternative is one that will enhance teaching and learning. Above all else, the government needs to understand that this year’s national curriculum tests will be the last.”…

How much opposition does it take to get a government wedded to testing to give up? I hate to be a pessimist, but I’d say that not even this much.


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