ABOUT 100 parents of children at Parkside School in Norwich attended a meeting on the SATs tests where education secretary Charles Clarke debated with a local head teacher last Friday. The whole meeting turned against Clarke as speakers from the floor voiced their opposition to SATs.
Clarke spoke for ten minutes attempting to defend SATs, claiming they are linked to raising standards. No one was taken in. One objection after another made it clear that there are fundamental reasons why they should be scrapped urgently.
People said how they damage the self confidence of children at an age as early as seven. Many feel labelled as thick and have low self esteem. Others spoke of how the testing regime does not help teachers plan for their pupils' needs. Instead it controls what teachers do.
The head teacher described how exams contradict her ethos of teaching and learning as well as potentially undermine the trust her pupils have in her. The meeting ended with a call for parents to boycott the tests. This was enthusiastically welcomed. There is a strong possibility parents and teachers together could win this.