thoughts post SATs strike…



Having had Nick Gibb (Minister for schools) look a total idiot yesterday, failing (live on radio) to know what every 10 and 11 year old is expected to. David Cameron certainly wasn’t going to give SPaG a punt at PMQs today and swiftly sidestepped a question from Caroline Lucas on modal verbs (basically he didn’t have a clue otherwise it’s the sort of showing off grown up schoolboys revel in)…

…this just goes to prove that you can get to the top jobs in the land without knowing a model verb from a noodle verb and that insisting our children learn it all (many of them having to absorb 4 years worth of information in less than a year) is just another way to pretend they are doing us a favour educating our children when really it’s all about us all (kids, parents, teachers) doing as we’re told, jumping through academic hoops and being good little citizens who won’t rock the boat.

Private schools knocked SAT’s on the head years ago. The parents there whose children  will be future leaders of industry, banking and Tory ministers know that it’s not tests like this years SATs (or any SATs) that brings that sort of success but  decent teachers, small class sizes, parental support at home and confidence (often brought on by those first three things).

They must be laughing their Tory arses off at the vast ranks of parents yesterday happily defending their children sitting SAT’s and spending months of their school lives practising for said tests and thinking that somehow, one day, it will raise their children up into the light of monetary and social privilege.
But I hope the Government are worried about the  7000+ children that spent their day in the sunshine yesterday (and even more whose parents needed to work and sent in letters of support) because those children might not be able to have small class sizes, their teachers may be leaving in droves due to overwork and despair but they do have parents who support  both kids AND their teachers and they are being taught the confidence to stand up and be counted when something is very wrong.

My son will be taking his SATs next week because I have a lot of respect for his lovely school and professional teachers. He knows all he can do next week is his best and understands what is being asked of him and his classmates isn’t fair on him or the teaching staff.

We have no idea what sort of score will be needed to be working at the expected level for his age. It could be that the standard overall will be so poor that there will be a very low threshhold to stagger over . Or it could be that those who must be obeyed in Whitehall are setting all our children up for a fall so they have additional reason to bring forced academy status forward for ‘failing’ schools. Who knows? I don’t. Our school doesn’t and certainly my son doesn’t.

We are also told repeatedly this isn’t about the children passing or failing so woe betide the day he is asked to resit either of this years SAT’s in his next academic year.



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