Parents withdraw children from Sats exams over mental health concerns

Parents across the country are preparing to withdraw their 10 and 11-year-olds from tests over concerns about their mental health.

Families are becoming increasingly worried about the number of practice papers and revision classes that Year 6 children face during the Easter holidays, The Independent understands.

Thousands of parents have downloaded a letter which sets out plans to stop their children from taking the Sats exams next month because of the “pressures of a high stakes testing system”.

It comes as teaching unions warned about the “damaging” impact of assessments in primary school.

Just after Easter, the National Education Union (NUT section) voted to explore ways of disrupting the pilots of the government’s new literacy and numeracy tests for four-year-olds.

A spokesperson for campaign group Let Our Kids Be Kids told The Independent: “Teaching unions are right to suggest there’s a moral basis for boycotting these high stakes tests – so widely recognised as being pointless and damaging – but parents want action now.

“Parents are furiously sharing photos of practice Sats papers that 10-year-olds are sent home with and teachers are describing the frustration they feel at being ignored by the government.”

Last month, Anne Milton, skills minister, wrote in an answer to a parliamentary question that “children attending school are not legally required to sit the national key stage tests”.

Following these comments, Let Our Kids Be Kids has published a template Sats withdrawal letter for parents to send to their school – and it has already been downloaded more than 2,000 times.

“As my child’s headteacher I understand that you have a duty of care for my child. I urge you understand my desire to put the wellbeing of children ahead of school data,” the letter says.

It adds: “The professionals whom I trust to educate my child are deeply concerned about the primary curriculum and the associated tests.

“It would be irresponsible of me as a parent not to express my concern … Any action I take is in support of teachers and schools and for an overhaul of a broken system.”

TNT Education

Photo Credit: Liberal Democrats



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