SATS Boycott, to rebel or not to rebel, that is the question on every parents lips right now. Some are vehemently convinced that pulling their kids out of school is the only way to make our government listen. Others don’t disagree with the protest but don’t agree pulling the kids out of school will be the answer. Local mum Charlotte shares her thoughts about the situation and why she won’t be taking her two primary school aged children out of school.
What a week! First it’s revealed that the Year 2 SATS spelling test was accidently published online. What ‘Jokers’. The same day my kid’s school sends out a schedule for the Year 2 SATS. Then, on Friday, I read in the news that the test is scrapped entirely. “It’s invalid. A non-test” says the brilliant Michael Rosen on Twitter.
Of course it is. However, despite being a life-long rebel (both with and without a cause), I still find myself very wary of the boycott SATS lot who are campaigning for a day for parents (most likely Mums) to take their kids out of School.
Granted, I don’t know the ins and outs of the education system, I’m not sure such an approach would have the same resonance if it was GCSEs we were talking about. My point is, I just don’t see how a boycott is helpful: to our kids or our schools. I want to offer another perspective. Agreed. Testing 6-7 year olds is a pretty ridiculous and random way of measuring a child’s ability. But, aren’t all tests a pretty ridiculous and random way of testing anyone’s ability?
Nevertheless, life is full of such tests. Therefore, perhaps it would be helpful to our children to support them through this process, one that the UK education system is going to throw at them throughout their school lives – not to mention the dreaded driving test, etc., – rather than kick back at it? Different children and different schools approach the tests differently. Some children get stressed, some don’t care, some kids are going to fly through the tests, and others will struggle. Some schools make a big deal of it, other schools seem to seamlessly assimilate the tests into the normal day-to-day activities.
Either way, as parents, both our children and our schools – that are required to do these tests – need our support. The tests have changed and are a lot harder than before. So, talking about the tests, along with a bit of practice and preparation can help our children feel at ease in the actual exams. (Oh, and in my case, you know telling them that it’s not a random lot of questions that you can make up answers to but actually need to work out (maths) or find in the text (reading) so that they feel they can do it).
On the school side, actually sending your children in to school will help them meet other targets (e.g. attendance) and reduce administrative work load. We all know that tests are only a test our ability to understand how to pass said test, and not a measure of general ability.
Yes, the system is flawed. Yes, government educational policy diabolical. I do hope that our schools and teachers will still work with the DfE to improve the whole caboodle. I will whole – heartedly support this. However, I don’t think taking children out of school for a day is the right approach (and sorry, we’re both working parents).