Let pupils lead the revolution to end primary Sats

3rd April 2009 at 01:00

It's fantastic that the NUT and NAHT are again campaigning to have the primary Sats abolished ("Union chiefs divided on move to boycott Sats", March 27). However, this relies on the willingness of public sector employees to stick their heads above the parapet, which is a difficult thing to do.

How about this for an idea? Headteachers are obliged to "administer" the Sats. There is a requirement that the paperwork be completed, forms signed to indicate that the tests weren't opened beforehand or read afterwards, etc. However, there is no legal obligation on the part of the children to fill the papers in.

Wouldn't it be great if every primary school put the actual completion of the papers to a vote? Let children decide how to best use their time in school. The blank papers could then be packaged and returned, leaving markers with nothing to read, the Government with no data and schools free from any backlash. Brilliant.

As for parents having a right to know of their children's progress, at no time did Sats tell me anything I didn't already know. In fact, they often gave misleading indications. My son got only a level 4 for his reading Sats when his reading age, with understanding, is that of an adult. He wrote on the back of his English test paper: "I'm sick of Sats. It's all right for you. You're getting paid to mark this."

Power to the pupils!

Rebecca Elliott, Former primary headteacher, Norfolk.

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