Portsmouth councillors to vote on whether to lobby the government to scrap Sats tests in primary school

Portsmouth City Council will vote on whether they will urge the government to scrap Sats
Portsmouth City Council will vote on whether they will urge the government to scrap Sats
Share this article

COUNCILLORS hope Portsmouth could lead the way to abolish 'high-stress' exams for young schoolchildren across the country.

At full council next week members will vote on whether to lobby the government to end 'unnecessary' SATs tests in primary school, as well as other high-stakes testing.

Labour Councillor Tom Coles will bring the motion to his peers.

He said: 'I have got two children in primary school myself and I see the stress they go through at school.

'It seems more that the they are in place to test the teachers rather than the students - it's all about the league tables with no regard given to the children.

'The schools do try to make it as stress-free as possible for the children.

'I hope this is something all group leaders will come together on and hopefully Portsmouth can lead the way on this.'

Cabinet member for education, Cllr Suzy Horton, agreed in principle. 'The real question is whether we are testing the teachers or the children,' she said

'I don't necessarily think exams are wrong it just depends what they're being done for. When I first started teaching there were no such things as league tables. I'd get rid of league tables in a heartbeat.’

She added: 'At the moment we are in a really good place for education in Portsmouth and this can be seen because our reports from Ofsted are getting better and better.'

By 2020 children nationally will be tested in Reception (the baseline assessment), Year 1 (the phonics screening check), Year 2 (SATs), Year 4 (the multiplication tables check) and Year 6 (SATs).

If the motion is approved the council will write to the secretary of state and will look to adopt alternative assessment methods. It will also voice support for the More Than a Score campaign.

A spokesman for More Than A Score, which is made up of parents, teachers and education experts, said: 'It’s not right or accurate to base a school’s overall performance on the test results of primary age pupils. There are more supportive ways to assess children and fairer ways to measure schools, without the need to turn pupils into data-points.'