The government’s latest policy U turn, on testing kids who struggle to fasten their shirt buttons, has come as a shock to teachers, who thought it was all going swimmingly.
“Sats are great” affirmed Harold teaching assistant, Carly Jeffery “they don’t cause stress for schools, staff, children or parents, so I’m wary of dropping them without evidence. But clearly the DfE knows what it’s doing.”
Jeffery’s belief in Sats is founded on previous DfE exhortations to ‘test, re-test and test again’. “But Sats for 7 year-olds aren’t being scrapped just yet.” she says “So I don’t actually have to change my mind about them until later this year.”
“At first I was worried about job security because all my time is spent preparing, testing, then recording the results. I wondered if I might help less able children with reading,” she mused “But is that something that primary schools should be doing?
“Of course, in the end I needn’t have worried. We’ll be given a replacement assessment system soon, which is good news. I plan to get a head start on it and with a bit of luck, I’ll got my head round it before it’s replaced by whover replaces Justine Greening. It is still Justine Greening, isn’t it?”
Headteacher Alison Lee says frequent changes, of Minister and of policy, are key to the development of education in the UK. “If we had the same Minister, pursuing the same policy year after year … well, it doesn’t bear thinking about.”