FOR the first time ever, children are to strike in a protest against too many exams meaning they are “over-worked” and “over-tested” by what parents are saying is a curriculum dominated by exams.
More than 40,000 parents have signed up to participate in the action describing the tests as “shambolic” and a “regime.”
Children as young as six and seven have to be put through rigorous testing patterns for Key stage one in attempts by policy makers to improve standards.
The Let Our Kids Be Kids campaign is actively encouraging parents to keep their children off school for “a day of educational fun instead,” and the website shows posts from hundreds of groups or parents who say they will keep their children out of classes and take part in a different fun activity.
A letter to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan calling for an “end to SATs now” has been sent by campaign spokespeople.
The letter said: “Do you want your legacy to be the confident cancellation of unneeded and unnecessary SATS, showing you are listening to your electorate and the teachers you claim to support… or the overseeing of a shambolic testing regime desperately unwanted by millions of people to the point that this country saw its first open parent revolt?
“You have the power to stop these tests. Now. Our children, our teachers and our schools deserve better than this.”
Head teachers are some of those already concerned with the tougher SATs, which means that thousands of schools will fail to make the grade.
Ms Morgan, speaking at the National Association of Head Teachers’ annual conference at the weekend, encouraged those in charge of the “kids’ strike” to think again – she voiced her concerns at the conference saying that keeping children home was “damaging.”
She continued: “Keeping children home – even for a day – is harmful to their education and I think it undermines how hard you as heads are working.”
She went on to say that “more rigorous” tests of young children would help to address the achievement gap in functional literacy between England and Korea, Singapore and Ireland.
Lucy Powell, the Shadow Education Secretary said she did not support the strike but admitted that up until now ministers had “ridden roughshod” over teachers’ and parents’ concerns.
She continued: “Ongoing assessment is really important to help teachers and parents support their children’s education and to close any gaps in knowledge so all children can do well at school.
“However, the way this government has handled the assessment regime means that parents and teachers are lacking confidence in school tests and the assessment system is being undermined.”