End in sight for SATS at 11?

19 Nov 2009

Interesting announcement to day by Education Secretary, Ed Balls, on the future of the SATs at age 11.

He has said that from next year the results of teachers' assessments will be published alongside the SATs results in the school league tables. Those with long memories will remember that when SATS started, almost 20 years ago now, the idea was to publish both sets of results giving equal prominence to each, but eventually all attention focused on the test scores. 

This looks like a tentative move towards shifting from external tests to rely just on internal teacher assessment, perhaps in the hope of heading off the current planned boycott of next year's tests by the NUT and the NAHT.

 The minister has said that the tests are 'not set in stone'. In doing so, he has opened the possibility that - when the new School report Cards are published - they could rely on teacher assessments not SATs scores. If that happens much of the opposition to SATs would melt away, as it is the high stakes nature of the tests - not testing itself - which teachers object to. 


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