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KS2 SATs: Why are schools planning to boycott them?

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General Secretary of the NAHT, Mick Brookes, and ex-headteacher, James Smith, discuss the reasons why some school leaders are planning to boycott this year’s KS2 tests

There’s currently a great deal of confusion surrounding this year’s Key Stage 2 tests (known as SATs), scheduled to take place on May 10 to 13. On April 21, the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and National Union of Teachers (NUT) announced plans to boycott this year’s tests. However, the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) will not take part in the boycott. Headteachers now have the difficult decision whether to participate in the boycott by refusing to open the tests when they arrive at their schools before the May 10 test date.

SATs

KS2 testing ‘distorts the curriculum’

After the main teacher unions met with Schools Minister, Jacqui Smith, in July 2005 they were told that the SAT system was not negotiable. The NAHT launched its Commission of Testing and Assessment and published the findings in 2007 that indicated that most parents, governors, politicians felt that the SATs system ‘distorted the curriculum’.

Mick Brookes, General Secretary of the NAHT, said that they have gained much through this campaign, but not enough.

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