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Is there a moral case for boycotting baseline assessment and Sats?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    One union leader seems to think so and delegates at the NEU annual conference will discuss calls for a campaign to encourage schools to boycott the tests:

    ‘There is a “moral case” for teachers to boycott the planned baseline assessment of four-year-olds, a teachers’ leader has said.

    The government’s overhaul of primary assessment includes plans to introduce an assessment of children in reception, which will be used as a starting point to measure their progress during their time in primary school.

    It is due to be piloted in 2019, before being rolled out nationally the following year.

    The plans have proved controversial, with the More than a Score coalition claiming young children “will be pushed into a world of high-stakes assessment”, but the NAHT headteachers’ union has “cautiously welcomed” the plans.’

    What are your views on this issue? Do you think there is a moral case for boycotting baseline assessments and Sats? If so, why? Would you vote for a boycott?

  2. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    I would vote for a boycott regardless.

    I don't see it as a 'moral' or 'immoral' issue - the whole testing regime at primary level has destroyed the joy of learning for pupils, the joy of teaching for teachers, the broad & balanced curriculum, and so many other aspects of primary education. It's also responsible for the stress, anxiety & depression suffered by so many primary teachers, and the departure (by whatever route, including capability) of many good teachers.
  3. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    "Broad and balanced curriculum" my ar53.
    Ask any year 6 class in England how broad their curriculum is.
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Worked at KS3. First we refused to mark then and then we refused to supervise them. Eventually they dropped them (I think that American company cocked them up one year)
    cazzmusic1 and stonerose like this.
  5. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    Well I suppose you need at least 3 points to draw a straight line, don’t you? That’s how data prediction works in education.
  6. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    That was part of my point. One reason to boycott SATs.
    grumpydogwoman and stonerose like this.
  7. border_walker

    border_walker Established commenter

    Only 2!
  8. mrajlong

    mrajlong Established commenter

    Year 6: A time that should be a wonderful period in a child's education. Top of the tree, more responsibility, developing a love for all that is learning...NO! A time for stress, revision, mock SATs, endless test questions, pressure, teachers having to deal with the worry that one missed mark can trigger an OFSTED. Words fail me for what a wasted and sad period this is in a 10/11 year old's life. And for what? A way to measure the un-measurable, a stick to beat schools and their staff with, a way to label a child based solely on whether they can answer, parrot fashion, a question made up by god knows who...I wish all primary schools would boycott ALL primary testing and let it become the enjoyable and largely stress free time I enjoyed (many moons ago)!
  9. george1963

    george1963 Occasional commenter

    Pupils should be assessed. Every school is different so a 'national assessment' is needed. What's the problem? I like them. :) They do give me a few surprises that make me look at children more closely. Some children performing well in class fail miserably in assessments. Others are the other way round. but I like them as a back up to my own assessment. Part of the picture. I also like the scaled scores....seeing where children are at nationally. Think schools should be accountable so would only ever boycott if a more 'valid' way was found and we weren't using it.
  10. mrajlong

    mrajlong Established commenter

    Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? and Why? Let me know if I missed a "Why?"
  11. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    I meant accurately maybe then I was being to generous.
    stonerose likes this.
  12. Sally006

    Sally006 Occasional commenter

    Definitely. It’s all utterly pointless. They were boycotted once before and our then Y6 teacher and the parents of her kids all said it was the best thing that could have happened. The kids got on with REAL learning and joy returned to Y6. I currently teach Y6 and strive to ensure I can give them the best deal I possibly can in terms of a well rounded curriculum and learning experiences but know it’s nothing like enough. Both their creativity and mine is being squashed by the endless treadmill towards trying to achieve the unachievable. I’m amazed that Head Teachers have put up with this flawed system for so long. They whole profession should unite against SATs as we know them but sadly I know they won’t.
  13. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    3 points show it is a straight line. 2 points and the line could be any shape.
  14. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    troll alert - ignore
    stonerose likes this.
  15. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    That was in the mid nineties wasn't it? Memory ain't what it was!
  16. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Early Noughties IIRC
  17. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    I suspect you never taught before SATs. You don't know what it was like to teach Y6 in those days - the cherry on the primary cake.

    Your post is all about you - what you like about them. Education is for the benefit of the children. SATs is of NO benefit to the children.
    cazzmusic1, stonerose and mrajlong like this.
  18. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    Reads as: they are not reliable and neither are my own assessments.
    stonerose and mrajlong like this.
  19. stonerose

    stonerose Occasional commenter

    Totally relate to the above.

    I spent a short spell - thankfully - on supply. The number of schools in that time that needed cover from me were nearly all missing their Y6 teacher. It was hugely disproportionate, and their staff colleagues were candidly admitting the cause of absences were stress. On one memorable occasion, a school I was in was missing 2 teachers off both of its Y6 classes with - you've guessed it - stress. (One was long term.)

    When I found out that the HT was trying to book me for long term supply cover because planning and assessments etc. etc. hadn't been carried out, I voted with my feet!' It wasn't the agency who told me, it was the HT and (surprise, surprise) he treated me to a catalogue of moans about how they were inconveniencing him! I came to the conclusion if the idiot couldn't see that the testing regimes (and I have no doubt him) were sources of their illness then I was out of there!

    The malevolent theory seems to be if some testing is toxic more must be better, because it's working!! Keep on trucking with your motto guys: if it's hurting it must be working. Hey?:mad:
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  20. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Occasional commenter

    A boycot is a good idea and I can think of the following reasons:

    A broad and balanced curriculum can truely be taught all the way through primary school. These are CHILDREN, not robots and therefore need a variety of subjects to stimulate and encourage their love of learning.

    Children don’t make progress in straight lines or develop their potential at KS2. If we set them at 11 in secondary school based on SATS, they may never achieve their full potential. I have taught plenty of children who are in bottom set because of their data and they remain there when they shouldn’t.

    Parents and students don’t think the arts and PE are important because children get hammered with English and maths. Secondary non EBACC subjects suffer a fall in numbers. Behaviour can be poor at KS3 because kids don’t see the point in doing these subjects. Numbers of teachers in these subjects fall as staff leave and aren’t replaced, staff are made redundant or budgets are severely reduced/eliminated. Many can’t get jobs because their subject is oversubscribed with teachers.

    Less pressure for primary school teachers to teach to the test. Hopefully this will have a knock on effect to help reduce workload. Tests are stressful for teachers and students and create a horrible atmosphere in the classroom. Assessments don’t have to be this stressful.

    Less pressure for secondary teachers. So what if a child did well in their SATS, it doesn’t mean they will get an 8 in their music/art/PE GCSE. For inexperienced teachers, these targets can encourage them to cheat due to pressure from above to ensure all students achieve their target.

    If MPs want to retain teachers, encourage a ‘thirst for learning’ and improve attendance in schools, testing should be the first to go. But this is not what MPs truely want. They want chaos so they can rebuild the education system and claim they have succeeded. How many lives have been ruined? How many times have we spoken out? Our educated spokesmen and women are ignored by people who’s only experience of school was that they went to one years ago.

    Now, if I could just get my hands on that education secretary’s job!

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