Government is right to back tougher Sats, Wilshaw says

Ofsted chief Michael Wilshaw has voiced support of the government’s plans to impose tougher primary tests, after a campaign was held opposing the move.

The news comes as thousands of parents have kept their children off school in order to protest against the difficulty of the new assessments, as part of the Let Our Kids Be Kids Campaign. However, Wilshaw argued that the government was right to introduce tougher examinations, adding that he ‘fully supported’ the new regime at Key Stage 1.

In a statement, Wilshaw said: “The government is right to introduce greater structure and rigour into the assessment process. Those who oppose this testing need to consider England’s mediocre position in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development education rankings.

“As I have long argued, children who fall behind in the early years of their education struggle to catch up in later years. If by the age of seven, a child has not mastered the basic skills of reading, writing and mathematics, the odds will be stacked against them for the rest of their lives. This is especially the case for poorer children."

The Ofsted chief maintained he was ‘confident that most schools do everything they can to minimise the stress that children experience in preparing for and sitting these tests’.

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