According to a new survey from the National Union of Teachers (NUT), 90 per cent of the 6,500 primary teachers and head teachers surveyed across the UK have stated that the intense preparation key stage 2 students are faced with before embarking on the mandatory SATs exams is creating a harmful impact on children’s self-confidence and mental health.
SATs preparation for students with disabilities and special educational needs is also considered as a major concern, where 97 per cent believe that the process disadvantages those students, and the same number claimed that the entire system was poorly designed by the Department for Education (DfE).
Acting general secretary of the NUT, Kevin Courtney, commented: “The new assessment system is badly designed. Its effects on pupils are actually harmful. Its administration has been spectacularly incompetent. The impact primary assessment is having on children’s mental health and wellbeing, alongside what it is squeezing out of the school day, makes it irresponsible not to listen to teachers’ concerns. While schools are working really hard to understand the new expectations and maintain a rounded and balanced school experience for every child, teachers identify that the pressures from this deeply flawed assessment system are making this much harder.”
Furthermore, only 10 per cent believe that the spelling, punctuation and grammar test has benefitted additional support in children’s writing skills, and seven per cent agree with the SATs system accurately acknowledging what students should learn.