SATs test leaks – A bigger question looming?

SATs Test

Protest against SATs Test

According to government sources a primary school exam has been accidentally leaked twice in the last 3 weeks.  In April, the Government was forced to pull the national spelling test after the leak. And now, in May, a marking website which operates behind password protection published the SATs paper, which a “rogue marker” subsequently attempted to leak to a journalist.

Data security is paramount to centralised government testing systems as it is vital that children are assessed on a level playing field. But now that the future security of other tests is seriously in question, it has to be asked if children being assessed less because of these leaks are now disadvantaged in their future education. If such a risk exists, is it that the system itself is flawed?

Qualifying as a teacher is a difficult process that requires a wide range of skills and  involves continual rigorous assessment. Certainly teachers these days are educated to a standard where we can be confident that they can measure a child’s educational capacity and adjust the lessons for a class with mixed ability. If we are confident that this part of the process works, then why are we not so confident in the teachers’ ability to grade students for future streaming accordingly?

One of the most important parts of assessing educational  potential is judgement of progress, or as we used to say “how quickly you get the hang of something”. While current primary level testing certainly has scope of continual improvement, it fails to assess the individual level of growth children go through on a day to day basis.  A teacher is continually and acutely aware of a child’s development almost as much as a parent is. I very much doubt centralised government testing can assess a child’s receptiveness on the same level.

Parents and teachers have voiced their anger over the hard SATs test, which reduced children to tears. More than 40,000 parents have signed a petition calling for a boycott of primary school tests. It seems the government doesn’t know if it can trust its teachers, if it insists on a testing system that needlessly places pressure on young children. It continually fails in its bureaucracy to the point that it fails in its fundamental role as an equality based measure for assessing children. What do you think? Are SATs bad for children? Do teachers know better? Let us know

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About Shweta

Shweta runs the data team at EncycloKidia so her brain is a massive repository of all kid’s services out there. After some persuasion, we were able to get her to look up from her spreadsheets and share some of her priceless knowledge with us.

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