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NUT Calls For 2015/16 SATs To Be Suspended

The NUT has called for the suspension of this year’s SATs, citing recent changes to the testing and assessment of KS1 and KS2 pupils as ‘A bad plan, chaotically implemented.‘ At issue is the publication last week of material exemplifying the national standards for assessing writing at the end of KS1 and KS2 , which […]

Callum Fauser
by Callum Fauser
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The NUT has called for the suspension of this year’s SATs, citing recent changes to the testing and assessment of KS1 and KS2 pupils as ‘A bad plan, chaotically implemented.

At issue is the publication last week of material exemplifying the national standards for assessing writing at the end of KS1 and KS2 , which form part of this year’s interim statutory teaching assessment framework.

The NUT argues that these have been made known at too late a stage for teachers to properly deliver the assessment, given the level of detail and evidence they must produce when judging whether pupils have met the statements set out within the framework.

In the KS2 assessment framework for writing, for example, to demonstrate that a pupil is ‘Working at greater depth within the expected standard’ (one of the frameworks standards, the others being ‘Working towards the expected standard’ and ‘Working at the expected standard), teachers must demonstrate attainment of 34 statements across six different forms of writing. Writing in the TES, ATL general secretary Mary Bousted observes that this would equate to Y6 teachers with a typical class size of 30 having to make ‘1,020 separate assessments for each type of writing, and that number needs to be multiplied by six (one for each type of writing) – making a grand total of 6,120 assessments. And that is just for writing.’

The NUT has also criticised the bringing forward of the reporting date for teachers’ assessments (27th May, in the case of KS2) and a raising of the ‘expected standard’ pupils must to reach, warning that the consequences of these have not been sufficiently thought through.

The NUT will meet with other unions tomorrow to discuss putting forward a joint response.

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