Primary pupils feeling SATs pressure, survey suggests

Research for BBC Newsround has revealed that nearly 90 per cent of Year 6 pupils in England feel pressure to do well in tests.

Having interviewed 750 10- and 11-year olds who are due to sit their Key Stage Two SATs tests this week, BBC Newsround found that 59 per cent said that they felt some pressure to do well, while 28 per cent experienced ‘a lotto pressure’.

When asked to describe their mood in the run up to their tests, 59 per cent of children said that they were ‘nervous’, 39 per cent ‘worried’, 27 per cent ‘stressed’, 17 per cent 'sad and moody', while 16 per cent of the children asked said that it was 'affecting their sleep'.

On the other side of the scale, 48 per cent of children interviewed said they did not mind taking the tests, with 14 per cent claiming they enjoyed them. Those children said they were ‘confident’ (21 per cent), ‘excited’ (13 per cent) and ‘happy’ (11 per cent). The Department for Education (DfE) maintains that the tests are not intended to be stressful and rigorous.

A DfE spokesman said: “They [the tests] are a key part of making sure young people master the skills they need to reach their potential and succeed in life."

The research follows a protest last week where some parents kept their children from attending school for a day in a demonstration against primary tests in England. A further 40,000 signed a petition calling for a boycott.

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