SATs tests must be ‘taken with a pinch of salt’, warns union

Mr Lamberton said he knew his sons wouldn't wear their hats or sun cream if they weren't with him.
Mr Lamberton said he knew his sons wouldn't wear their hats or sun cream if they weren't with him.
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Primary schools must not be judged on their SATs tests results alone, headteachers have warned.

Schools and parents know that the results, due to be published today, must be taken with a “pinch of salt”, according to the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT).

The warning comes after headteacher Jill Wood, from Little London Primary, in Leeds, was so upset by her 10 and 11-year-old pupils being in “floods of tears” during SATs exams as a result of stress, she decided not to run them this year, despite the move putting her job under threat.

And hundreds of parents backed Leeds headteacher Jo Fiddes, from Five Lanes Primary, who labelled the controversial tests as “cruel” and an “unnecessary pressure”.

More than half a million 11-year-olds across England took national curriculum tests, known as SATs, in May. The results are used in annual school league tables to assess a school’s performance.

NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby said: “Currently, the methods to hold schools to account aren’t as fair or as reliable as they should be.

“SATs data only gives parents part of the picture when judging a pupil’s success or a school’s effectiveness. League tables are the least helpful way of knowing if a school is the right place for your child.

“At the moment, parents and schools know that these results have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

“This can’t be right. Just looking at data misses the majority of the real work that schools do to help young people achieve their full potential.”

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