SATs for 14-year olds to be scrapped

The Times reports that SATs are going to be scrapped:

"National school testing for 14-year-olds in England is to be scrapped as part of a major shake up of testing in primary and secondary education, the Government announced today.

Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, said that Key Stage 3 National Curriculum tests, known as Sats, would be replaced by better and more intensive classroom assessment by teachers and more frequent reporting of pupils' progress to parents."

This move makes a lot of sense, there is a very good argument that SATs at 14, GCSEs at 16, AS-Levels at 17 and A-Levels at 18 leave students seriously overtested.  Too many tests can clearly be disruptive to a student's education as more time is spent teaching to the test than providing a broad education.


The real question is, why is this a matter for the Government?  If schools were controlled by teachers, responsible to parents, then the balance between testing to provide a robust understanding of a child's progress and not overtesting and disrupting their education could be struck by those on the ground.  That would allow for  greater variety, different amounts of testing may suit different students, and for those who see the effects of the system first hand to make the decision about whether more or less testing is appropriate.

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