York MP defends primary testing

A York MP has defended the government’s policy on primary school testing, arguing that it gives children the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

The government has come under criticism for its reforms to Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 SATs tests, which led to parents taking children out of school for a one day strike in May this year.

The York Press reports that parents of children at Lord Deramore’s Primary School in Heslington have written to MP Julian Sturdy to voice their concerns over the tests.

In response to these concerns, Sturdy has said he ‘wholeheartedly’ agrees that children should have the chance to flourish as ‘creative, confident and critical thinkers’, but believes that the SATs tests do not undermine these characteristics.

Sturdy argued that the new curriculum provides a ‘firmer academic grounding’ that can better support children to reach their ‘full potential’.

The York MP also countered arguments that children will be branded as failures for underperforming in SATs tests, suggesting they will be used to highlight where pupils need additional support.

He said: “Children will not be branded as failures as a result of their attainment in SATs and it is important that undue pressure is not placed on them.

“SATs can be extremely important for giving a clear indication of the particular support that some children may require and testing can ensure that we do not fail those children from poorer and deprived backgrounds”

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