SATs Chaos!

SATs Chaos!


How do you feel about this year’s SATs?


We believe that this year’s KS2 SATs have been a disaster from the beginning. There was a rushed and inappropriate curriculum and poor tests that have been poorly marked. This year 47% of children will be told they haven’t reached the “expected” standard in at least one of their SAT papers. Last year this figure was only 15%.


It is really important that we reassure parents and children. These children haven’t failed. Nicky Morgan has failed. She and Nick Gibb have consistently ignored advice – even pleas – from educationalists and teachers.


It was clear to many teachers that these tests were going to be a car crash. The material was too hard, the curriculum wasn’t in place and the tests were badly designed. The KS2 Reading test was so badly designed that the pass mark had to be set at 21 out of 50.


Even with that pass mark only 66% reached the so called ‘expected’ standard this year, compared with about 80% of pupils who reached 4B last year. This year children who just reached the ‘pass’ mark would have had the experience of not being able to answer a majority of the questions. Children who ‘failed’ – many of whom would have passed last year – will have had an even more demoralising experience.


And then, insult to injury, there are such problems with the marking. A primary head has told the NUT that, on checking the KS2 Reading papers, 22 out of 36 were marked incorrectly. They were missing between 1 and 6 marks each. If a Government puts such emphasis on these tests then it has responsibility to ensure they are marked properly. Teachers with this rate of error would be put on capability or dismissed. Heads would surely not survive an Ofsted with a finding like this.


If you teach in Barnsley please can you attend our emergency SATs meeting on Thursday 14th July at 4:30 at the Shaw Lane Sports Club? (63 Shaw Lane, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 6HZ) We are providing a hot and cold buffet and drinks free for attendees. We want to know how you feel about the SATs, compare your experiences to other teachers in Barnsley and ask what we can do about them next year.


Emma Hardy-Mattinson


National Union of Teachers


Yorkshire Midland Region (Area 3)

Lazarus House (1st Floor)

14 Prince’s Street





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