Despite a rising number of pupils passing their SATs tests, teachers’ unions fear they place too much pressure on young children.
A higher proportion of 11 year old primary school pupils are achieving in the new tougher national curriculum tests, often known as SATs. The tests (reading, writing and maths) were passed by 64% up from 61% in 2017.
In reading, 75% reached the expected standard, compared with 71% last year. In maths, 76% reached the expected standard, up from 75% last year.
Many figures in education argue that KS2 tests place excessive pressure on young children, and are used to represent a school’s performance, and this can be an inaccurate representation.
Julie McCulloch, director of policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, said they had received reports about children crying and having nightmares about the assessments.
“Schools do their best to protect their pupils from stress and anxiety, but action is clearly needed to reduce the pressure of the current system.
The problem is not the tests themselves but the fact that they are used as the main way of judging primary schools and the stakes are extremely high. In reality, four days of tests out of seven years of schooling can never provide anything more than a snapshot” she said.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb has a positive view of the purpose of the school curriculum. He said the results reflect rising standards in primary school.
“A good primary education lays the foundations for success at secondary school and beyond,” he said.
“That’s why we introduced a more rigorous, knowledge-rich primary school curriculum – with an emphasis on reading and fluency in arithmetic – to ensure every child is helped to reach their potential from the moment they start school.”