ASCL comment on SATs results

10 July 2018

Commenting on the release today of Key Stage 2 SATs results, Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“Congratulations to schools, teachers and pupils on the work which has gone into the continued improvement in results this year following the introduction of harder tests in 2016 and a new curriculum. They have done a remarkable job in achieving such impressive results.

“We are, however, concerned about reports of children crying and having nightmares about SATs. 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.

“ASCL is urging the Department for Education and Ofsted to attach less weight to a single set of results and to treat these tests as just one element of the story of a school. We have put forward a series of proposals to lower the stakes and make the system fairer on schools and better for children.”

ASCL published a report in March 2018 entitled ‘Sense and Accountability: Holding our primary schools to account for what matters most.’