SATs Tests Protest Result In Children Missing School; Are Some Headteachers Supporting The Action?


In a bid to fend off their SATs, around 2,000 children have joined a 'kids strike' today, but this may not go down too well with their parents as they could now be fined £120 for assisting them to opt out.

Although the exact estimates of the number of people participating are difficult to measure, reports on The Guardian indicate about 30,000 families were supporting the ban of SATs assessments for seven-year-old and 11-year-old students.

While schools in several parts of the country appeared unruffled, several schools among others in Brighton and parts of London recorded high numbers of absences. Some schools in Newcastle on the other hand observed a large numbers of parents keeping their children out of school for the day and participating in a loose nationwide coalition of parents formed via social media to protest changes to key stage one assessments announced last year.

Critics dubbed the idea of testing the children in Year 2 as a cause of mental health issue, and families too have claimed the exams for six and seven-year-old school put children 'through hell' and stress them out to the extent they can't eat or sleep.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb, however does not agree with their claims and said it was not right for parents to actually force their young children to strike simply because "Even missing a day's school can be damaging."

Children's laureate Chris Riddell along with about 500 people assembled at Preston Park in Brighton.

"We should be turning children into readers with the pleasure that gives, rather than relying on a testing culture," Mr. Riddell said.

Parents, according to reports on BBC, have handed in the petition at the headquarters of the Department for Education in London.

The campaign organizers claim children are "over-tested, over-worked and in a school system that places more importance on test results and league tables than children's happiness and joy of learning".

The campaign organizers further raised concerns about the influence of primary tests and claim it is a "dull, dry curriculum."

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, however has backed the tough tests for six and seven-year-old school children, noting that raising standards will actually enhanced creativity contrary to claims that it will restrict it.

According to reports on DailyMail, some headteachers have informed parents that they will not be penalized for boycotting class and will not face fines of £120 per child citing unauthorized absence.  

While addressing headteachers at the weekend, Mrs Morgan asked, "How creative can a child be if they struggle to understand the words on the page in front of them?"

"That is why the campaign led by some of those who do not think we should set high expectations, who want to keep their children home for a day is so damaging.

"Keeping children home, even for a day is harmful to their education," she added.

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