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Dear Ms Morgan: Sats tests are putting young children through hell

Tue, 03/05/2016 - 07:00
I’ve been receiving letters about children shaking and crying over their primary tests. Are you really sure it’s worth it?

I’ve been receiving letters recently from parents, teachers and school governors telling me about the stress that children in year 2 and year 6 are under. This is because of the Sats tests and I don’t get any sense from you or your colleagues that you realise how serious this is.

When the Sats first came in, I was reassured by people responsible for them that they were just “pencil and paper tests”, which children would hardly notice. Schools would be assessed in ways that were nationally equivalent for the sake of us parents. Education was being held to account. This negated the possibility that a combination of teachers, their professional associations, the national inspectorate, officers and advisers in local authorities and parent representation could improve schools. It negated the possibility that this could be built on through giving teachers incentives to research their own practice and share the results.

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Racist language as academy chief has a Clarkson moment

Tue, 03/05/2016 - 06:45
Creative Education Trust director of education used offensive term in meeting with senior colleagues

Is this a Jeremy Clarkson moment for education? An academy chain’s director of education used the N-word in a meeting with senior colleagues and then laughed it off, its governing board has admitted. One of those present, who complained, then had to wait 10 months for news of any follow-up.

Philip Cantwell, director of education at the 13-school Creative Education Trust (CET), used the word during a meeting last June at Weavers academy, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

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Labour criticises Sats changes as parents plan 'kids' strike' over exams

Tue, 03/05/2016 - 06:00

Government accused of creating ‘chaos and confusion’ over primary school testing in England amid growing calls for boycott

Labour has accused the government of creating “chaos and confusion” by altering primary school tests, as frustrated parents stage a “kids’ strike” on Tuesday.

A group of parents, organised on social media under the slogan “Let our kids be kids”, plan to keep their children at home for the day in protest against the standard assessment tests (Sats) for seven- and 11-year-olds, which they believe are stifling creativity and putting children under unnecessary pressure.

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