More Balls!

May 5, 2009 at 2:23 pm 1 comment


This is another post about SATS. I really don’t want to give the impression that I am obsessed here but I believe that what happens with SATS is a good indicator of how things may pan out in the shorter term future particularly in relation to issues around assessment.

A boycott of SATS next year by the NUT supported by the NAHT would in my view be extremely positive and help forward the end of these unnecessary tests. However, the signs that this will happen are not good. For a moment on Saturday I was rather more optimistic when the NAHT meeting here in Brighton appeared to have voted to support the boycott. In fact it turns out that they had voted to ballot their members in respect of their support of the boycott. Somewhat lily livered I’d say.

I have already heard noise, also, that the NUT were potentially backtracking on the boycott in light of the possibility that the government will be willing to make some compromises, although what compromises could possibly be acceptable if the tests still remain is a mystery to me.

Ed Balls has said that he doesn’t want ‘pupils and teachers overly stressed by the Year 6 SATS’. Well, part of the problem is that teachers and pupils do get stressed by the SATS so he should scrap them.

He also has said that ‘a boycott of the tests would set a bad example to children.’ Absolutely right if you think that the only example that should be set to children is to never question government wisdom, that faced with universal unpopularity amongst parents, teachers and children alike government policy should always go unchallenged.

Perhaps that’s the example Mr Balls is setting for his children. I’m not setting it for mine.


Entry filed under: Childrens, Education, SATS, Teaching.

Aren’t you listening, Sir Jim? Who needs schools. You live and learn!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. charlescorn  |  May 9, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    I agree with your response to Ed Ball’s suggestion that a boycott would be setting a bad example to children. In fact, if teachers do boycott the tests, they will be acting as great role models for children: standing up and fighting for what they believe in, and sticking up for the kids, despite the threats from a big bully (namely Ed Balls stating that Heads and teachers would be breaking the law, and all that implies). Of course, if the unions lose their nerve and do a compromise…..

    Don’t know if you’ve read about the recent report of the so-called expert group on assessment – from the headline reports, it seems to be totally gutless. All they could do is suggest that NC tests “could” (not “should”) be replaced with teacher assessments at some point in the future, so the government should monitor the effectiveness of TAs. The “experts” effectively handed the assessment baton back to Ed Balls.


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Mick Landmann on education, digital technology, and the 21st century

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