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Rayner: Parents should be 'weaned off' league tables

Primary league tables are ‘highly unreliable’ because Sats ‘warp the system,’ says shadow education secretary


Labour shadow education secretary Angela Rayner says parents need to be “weaned off" reliance on school league tables.

Speaking to journalists at the NEU teaching union annual conference, she said league tables at primary school level were “highly unreliable” because they were based on Sats results, which themselves “do not show the excellence we need to know”.

Ms Rayner said she felt “emotional” yesterday, hearing her leader, Jeremy Corbyn, announce that the Labour Party would ban Sats testing if it came to power.

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The mother of two primary children said many parents understood that the situation with Sats "wasn’t working", yet that many were programmed to think that Sats would make schools "outstanding".

She said: “You hear horror stories of pupils throwing up and parents taking their children out of school. What we need is a genuine level of performance of the school – not something based on an arbitrary high-stakes testing of a child at a particular point."

“Sats warp the system," she added. "They narrow the curriculum and teachers are stressed because they’re having to teach to the test.”

The NEU conference voted to ballot members on a Sats boycott on Monday. 

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