90 per cent of teachers believe Sats stress harms mental health, survey suggests

A new survey conducted by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has found that nine out of 10 teachers believe the primary assessment has had a negative impact on their pupils.

The majority of teachers expressed concern that preparation for Sats had worsened children’s well-being, mental health and self-confidence. 87 per cent of respondents highlighted that tests have harmed children’s engagement and motivation.

Furthermore, just 10 per cent of teachers confirmed they believed that the new spelling, punctuation and grammar (Spag) tests have supported children in developing their writing skills.

The study follows earlier controversial views around the changing guidelines, late communications, leaked test papers and teacher workload.

Kevin Courtney, acting general secretary of the NUT, commented: “[The new assessment system] is badly designed. Its effects on pupils are actually harmful. Its administration has been spectacularly incompetent. 

"The impact primary assessment is having on children’s mental health and well-being, alongside what it is squeezing out of the school day, makes it irresponsible not to listen to teachers’ concerns.

"While schools are working really hard to understand the new expectations and maintain a rounded and balanced school experience for every child, teachers identify that the pressures from this deeply flawed assessment system are making this much harder."

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