Dad dot info
Free online course for separated parents
Forum - Ask questions. Get answers.
Free online course for separated parents | Opinion | Latest News | SATs concerns to be reviewed by MPs

SATs concerns to be reviewed by MPs

Image credit: Pixabay

Following concerns about how tough SATs are for primary school children, a group of MPs have said they will undergo a major review.

The Commons Education Committee will take a broad look at the tests, taken by pupils at the end of Key Stage One and Key Stage Two.

This year’s Key Stage 2 tests in reading, writing and maths, formerly known as SATs, were made tougher by the Government in a bid to raise standards among Year Six pupils.

Parents and teachers have voiced their anger at SATs, saying they are so hard that children have been reduced to tears.

The tests are said to be so rigorous that some schools have even threatened to boycott the exams.

Almost half of pupils in England failed to meet tough new standards in reading, writing and maths, with huge discrepancies between different areas of the country.

The Chairman of the Education Committee, Neil Carmichael, said the new tests were “arguably the biggest reforms in primary assessment since external assessment was introduced 25 years ago”.

He added that last year’s results “point to unresolved issues in the way we prepare our children for secondary school and help them reach their potential”.

Mr Carmichael said: “As a committee we will want to examine how children are assessed, how well the SATs are being delivered, and what steps the Government should take in the future to make sure our education system delivers for all children.”

Professor Jo-Anne Baird from the University of Oxford is going to advise the committee. She has previously called primary assessments “very important to pupils, parents and teachers”.

She said: “Whilst there were problems last year with the security of a test and the content of the grammar assessments, as the boycotts showed, there are broader questions about the suitability of the primary assessments.”

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said: “We warmly welcome this inquiry and hope that it will prompt government to rethink its approach to primary assessment.

“Over recent years, primary education policy in England has become increasingly focused on testing as a way of measuring and ranking schools, with too little regard to whether it actually benefits children’s learning and development.”

He added: “Although plans to introduce a reception baseline assessment have been scrapped, the Government has been clear that it is still looking for an alternative replacement, and so it’s vital that there is clarity on what the purpose of this would be and what it would look like in practice at the earliest possible stage.

“We strongly believe that any assessment introduced at the start of primary school should be observational, broad-based, and promote a holistic and well-rounded approach to learning, and we look forward to the committee exploring this in more detail during the inquiry.”

Related entries

Should Stella Creasy, MP take her baby into parliament?

Should Stella Creasy, MP take her baby into parliament?

Returning to work after children is tough for everyone, whether you are on shared parental leave or returning after a brief paternity break. It can often make life choices for you, whether you decide to return part-time, go freelance or start paying heavy childcare...

Warning: UK Parents toying with their children’s safety

Warning: UK Parents toying with their children’s safety

Parents have been warned that children in the UK are at risk of death or serious injury from the sale of unsafe toys through various online marketplaces. Health and safety experts from CE Safety say parents should ensure they are not buying cheap, unsafe or fake toys...

Warning: UK Parents toying with their children’s safety

Rule of Six

New Coronavirus rules mean when seeing friends or family you don’t live with you should meet up in groups of six or less. For now, that means it is illegal for my whole family to meet another family inside or outside. In some ways we are lucky, we are only a family of...

Latest entries

The secret to child development… play

The secret to child development… play

... and before you skip past this, racing out the door to work. Stop a moment. Let me explain how play can affect your child's development. Play. Isn’t that just kids mucking about. Well, no... This is what play really means for children.   First, playing is...

Ask Debbie – No one told me about my 14 year old son

Ask Debbie – No one told me about my 14 year old son

Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is from a dad shocked to find...

Pin It on Pinterest