Can parents boycott SATS by refusing to allow their children to participate in them?

(103 Posts)
conistonoldwoman Sun 22-Apr-12 20:43:09

Just curious...don't think I'd attempt something so radical although I regard this appalling system with absolute loathing.

Shakey1500 Sun 22-Apr-12 20:45:54

What do you think is appalling about it? Genuine question. I'm not a teacher. I have a DS aged 4, just curious.

cece Sun 22-Apr-12 20:48:26

What would you hope to achieve?

snowball3 Sun 22-Apr-12 20:51:01

What do parents look at when deciding on a school? Ofsted reports and league tables? Where does the information come from? SATs results!

gallicgirl Sun 22-Apr-12 20:52:45

It teaches children to pass tests, not to think.
Success and failure can be seen as more important than attempting and achieving success appropriate to the child.

IMO.

Do parents use SAT results to choose schools?

mrz Sun 22-Apr-12 20:53:58

the only thing you could do is keep your child home for a week while the tests are administered and risk a fine

joanofarchitrave Sun 22-Apr-12 20:56:15

There's at least one parent on here (enid? can't remember) whose child did the SATs one year but who tore up the result without reading it. I'm not sure I could be that strong but provided you told the child beforehand and explained why you were doing it, I guess that could reduce the pressure on the child during the process.

Finocchio Sun 22-Apr-12 20:59:51

I had thought, before my dc reached sats age, of just taking them out for the sats term and going travelling perhaps. But when we reached yr2 and yr6 it seemed that my dc didn't really mind the sats, the school doesn't stress the dc out, and we haven't been that stressed about them, so it turned out to be not that big a deal. We like our school and the teachers so I would feel a bit bad taking my children out for sats.
I might feel differently if I had a child who got really wound up about it, but my dc aren't particularly anxious.

mrz Sun 22-Apr-12 21:00:15

My school boycotted the SATs in 2010 (union action) and Y6 cried because they wanted to show what they knew after 7 years in school ... we felt we let them down by not testing them how topsy turvy is that!!!

5madthings Sun 22-Apr-12 21:00:36

i kept my ds1 out of sats in yr 2? he was only attending school on a part time basis anyway (we flexi-schooled at that point) and i didnt see the need for him to take them. the HT was miffed as 'he would score well and pull their average up' not my concern! so he didnt take them.

so yes you can legally withdraw your child from sats, the school may not like it tho.

incidentally ds1 took the sats in yr 6 ans was fine, they use them at high school for initial setting so there seemed some point to them.

and i let ds2 take his in yr 2 as we had moved schools and they didnt make a big deal out of them like the previous school, he is now yr 5 and will take sats next yr again they will be used for setting at high school.

ds3 is in yr 2 and will be taking sats this year, but as i said the school doesnt make a big deal out of it and he wont even know he is being tested, if i felt they would impact him negatively then i would remove him.

SmallSchoolPrimaryTeacher Sun 22-Apr-12 21:00:38

I'm afraid you are not able to choose to exempt your child. That is so that that the results can be used to create league tables so that people can rank schools on raw results of children achieving a certain level. In the past, your child could be 'ill' on the given day, but this year we are basically required to ensure that miscreants in KS2 are tested upon their return. You have never been able to avoid them in KS1.
Our guidance is explicit that we must refuse parental requests for exemption.
As a professional, I wholeheartedly approve of assessment and testing, but not the use of it for public naming and shaming. Because of the pressure we are put under, it is inevitable that some of that gets passed on to the children, however hard we try to avoid it.
We have a booklet that tells us what to do. "If a child is unwell, stop the test for the child and note the time. After a rest break, if well enough, he or she should continue. If the test paper is spoiled, give the child a new copy. If the paper is unreadable, ask the child for their answers and record them in a different colour."
Basically, if an 11 year old child vomits on the test paper, instead of comforting them and sending them home, do everything to get them to finish the test.
What are we doing to our children?

cece Sun 22-Apr-12 21:01:57

If you feel that strongly about it then write to you rMP and get them to do something about it. Most teachers hate it too btw.

ravenAK Sun 22-Apr-12 21:08:48

If it's a year 6 child, & you feel that strongly, you could always suggest they just draw a pretty picture instead of answering the questions...wink.

I dislike the SATs - I'm an English teacher, & the first thing we do with year 7s is give them a couple of pieces of work (NOT tests) to provide baseline levels, because SATs results are...not always totally reliable, shall we say.

mrz Sun 22-Apr-12 21:15:16

They should in theory be more reliable because they are externally marked anonymously

Feenie Sun 22-Apr-12 21:26:18

5madthings, I am guessing you did this with your ds pre-2005, when assessment in Y2 was just tests - it's teacher assessment now, and your ds would be continuously assessed anyway (just like they are in every other year).

ravenAK Sun 22-Apr-12 21:29:26

'In theory', yes.

But the quality of the examiners is variable - we used to request a LOT of re-marks on our year 9 papers, & honestly, some of the marking I've seen was just bizarre.

Also, some primaries do quite a bit more 'teaching to the test' than others (sucking all the joy & real learning out of year 6 in the process.)

Not a fan!

Feenie Sun 22-Apr-12 21:32:02

So did we in writing - nothing wrong with maths marking though.

5madthings Sun 22-Apr-12 21:37:20

he is 12 now and in yr 8, born aug 99, so um i need to engage my brain and work out what yr he was in yr 2!!he would have been in yr2 in 2005? yes? tbh that is when he started school, we home school before then and when he started in yr 2 he just went part time as we flexi schooled, so we just kept him off the week of the sats, but yes as far as im aware it was all tests.

and raven yes some schools 'teach to test' as the boys old school did, we changed for many reasons but that was one of them! their current school is really laid back about them.

Feenie Sun 22-Apr-12 22:08:12

It was new to schools then - but yes, they should have just used teacher assessment.

conistonoldwoman Sun 22-Apr-12 22:33:20

I don't have any issues with assessing children's progress via tests but I do have issues with the content of SATS and the importance attached to them when making a judgement about a school's reputation.
My year 2 DD must be gearing up for the imminent SATS as she has started bringing home the usual test bumph. I do have issues with this kind of drilling but I can also appreciate that her teacher wants the children to feel prepared.

5madthings Sun 22-Apr-12 23:14:34

its was def tests, they told me what days they would be on and we home schooled those days.

seeker Sun 22-Apr-12 23:20:37

It does seem strange to me that people think that somehow "SATS" test something different to normal school work. A Maths SATS paper, for example, just tests them on the Maths they should have been taught- it's not special "SATS" Maths!

IndigoBell Mon 23-Apr-12 09:17:30

All you can do is keep them off school for a whole week.

My DS is very stressed about SATs and I wouldn't hesitate to keep him off - however he wants to do them.

He's not stressed about doing the tests. He's stressed because he's worried he won't do brilliantly in them.

I don't think any of his friends are stressed about them.

Dancergirl Tue 24-Apr-12 14:21:09

I would love to withdraw my dd from Year 6 SATS coming up. I don't agree with them and look forward to the day when they're scrapped. However I know they school would kick up a huge fuss and dd wouldn't want to be the only child not doing them.

What really bugs me though is if a child is ill on a test day, they encourage parents to bring them in to sit it! Sorry but if my child was ill enough to be at home that's where they'd stay!

Toughasoldboots Tue 24-Apr-12 14:28:54

My DS had the first six months of year six wasted due to SATS. They were pressurised, told it would affect their classes in secondary school ( it doesn't, this is a grammar school area) and were coached to do them in special 'catch up' classes.

What I particularly resented was that the school is not legally allowed to coach for the 11+ , yet they ran sessions for SATS.
My DS was off sick and they came to my house with papers hmm

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