End of Sats 'boosted standards'

11th April 2008 at 01:00
Year 6 teachers have been liberated in science following the scrapping of Sats, according to new research.

They no longer have to deal with weeping parents upset at their child's performance, and have more control over the syllabus. Pupils are also more interested in the subject.

But their new-found freedoms in a test-free classroom have come at a price - heavy workload as a result of "onerous" and inconsistent assessment procedures.

The Wellcome Trust, the world's largest medical research charity, studied the effects of national testing in science at key stage 2 in England and Wales.

It revealed that most teachers in Wales believe abolishing Sats, the tests at all key stages which ended last January, has been a "positive and welcome" change for the nation.

Some 62 per cent of Welsh headteachers said standards had improved as a result, with only 17 per cent disagreeing.

But in England, pupils are being "turned off science" by months of test preparation.

In Wales, teachers believe assessment gives a better indication of science ability in the age group than the old testing regime.

But there is also discontent among teachers, with many of the 300 questioned calling for clearer guidance from the Assembly government on assessment and more classroom support.

"A number of Y6 teachers and science co-ordinators commented on a sharp increase in teachers' workload as a direct result of the changes in assessment procedures and practice," says the report.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now