Socialist Worker

Headteachers’ Sats boycott begins

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2200

Headteachers in primary schools across Britain have begun a boycott of the hated Sats tests.

The tests turn thousands of children off education and label working class kids as “failures”.

The boycott, by members of the NUT and NAHT union, will disrupt Sats and the accompanying league tables. The government uses these to attack schools – forcing them to complete against each other.

Teachers, parents and children are building support for the boycott.

After asking year six students for their views, one headteacher at a West Yorkshire primary school changed unions so she could take part in the boycott.

Many students said that the tests were not a good measure of what they had learnt during the year. They worried that “family problems”, “stress” and illness could distract them on the day of the tests.

Sats also distort learning. “Last week I wanted to know about Volcanoes, but instead we did practice tests,” said one student.

“We could be learning more exciting and interesting things,” added another.

Sats can have a drastic effect on pupil’s morale. “I feel that if I get a bad score in my practice tests that I am no good,” wrote one student.

Another said, that if children got low scores, “They could lose spirit in themselves and be embarrassed to tell their family.”

Parents

The government claims that parents are against the boycott. But many parents hate Sats.

In Oxford, a group of parents are threatening to refuse to send their kids to school where a headteacher says they will not take part in the boycott.

At a school in Leeds, 22 parents came to a meeting about the boycott and voted unanimously to support it.

Another parent even sent flowers to a headteacher after hearing about the boycott.

Anti-Sats activists in Lambeth, Southwark, Islington and east London have organised a “Celebrate reading, no more Sats” picnic on Sunday 9 May. It takes place at Jubilee Gardens on London’s Southbank between 1pm and 3pm.

The boycott can be the start of a fight for decent education for all kids – and everyone should support it.

Go to » The tests that fail our kids for more myth-busting on Sats


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Article information

News
Tue 4 May 2010, 18:46 BST
Issue No. 2200
Share this article


Tags



Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.