Withdrawing child from SATS

(147 Posts)
Satsquash Thu 10-Jan-13 09:34:51

Wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the following:

1) Is it possible to withdraw your child from Yr6 Sats?

2) Would there be any impact on your child going to their chosen school if you did this i.e. offer withdrawn or child being in the wrong sets when they got there.

learnandsay Thu 10-Jan-13 09:41:21

Yes; it's called home-schooling.

Satsquash Thu 10-Jan-13 09:46:50

Thanks, learnandsay, but I'm just looking to withdraw my child from the Yr6 Sats, not Home Ed (wish that was an option but it isn't).

I suppose it's the same principle however, as home edded DC wouldn't have levels to take to Secondary, would they?

learnandsay Thu 10-Jan-13 09:49:28

Here's a thread about trying to withdraw. Basically the answer is no.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/primary/a1460032-Are-KS1-SATS-optional

Satsquash Thu 10-Jan-13 10:00:46

I can't see any evidence of sanctions applied if a child was absent for the whole week, with a letter sent to the Head and Governing Body stating you wished them to be ineligible for the tests.

5madthings Thu 10-Jan-13 10:04:15

Actually i removed my ds1 ftom yr 6 sats. They arent compulsory but schools dont like it as it goes down as a no score/fail.

tiggytape Thu 10-Jan-13 10:07:33

The short answer is no. There is no easy opt out if you do not wish your child to sit Year 6 SATS.
You can take more drastic measures (Home Ed or keep them off school for as long as it takes to ensure they won't be asked to sit them) but both of those have other repercussions and are potentially more stressful all round than sitting the tests.

The SATS themselves aren't the issue for most parents - it is the build up to them - which you also wouldn't be able to opt out of. And although they are used to determine the primary school's success in helping pupils make the right amount of progress, the individual results are also used by some secondary schools. Some use them as the sole basis for setting. Some pay them hardly any attention at all and do their own tests so that might depend where you live.

Satsquash Thu 10-Jan-13 10:08:19

Thanks, 5madthings, that's what I was after finding out smile

So no repercussions for Secondary admission?

mummytime Thu 10-Jan-13 10:09:51

The school can fine you £50 (it may have gone up) per day, per child per parent for an unauthorised absence.

The further consequences at secondary are variable, great schools re-test anyway for sets etc. Some others do set based on SATs.

However SATs are not that big a problem, my kids actually enjoyed SATs week; bananas, extra play time, fun activities in the after noon. The really issue is SAT preparation which can involve: teaching to the test, stress, boredom, pressure etc. Or maybe SAT results which can cause sneering of others results (and lying about results) on results day.

5madthings Thu 10-Jan-13 10:12:19

Nope didnt make a difference. High schools do their own assessments in the first few weeks and they actually dont seem to have much faith in primary sats results ime.

tiggytape Thu 10-Jan-13 10:16:53

Testing at some stage in Year 6 or 7 is also pretty inevitable because, even if you dodge the Year 6 SATS (as some people do unintentionally eg by being at prep school or in Home Ed for year 6), the secondary schools are obsessed with target levels and nc levels and need to establish these when a child starts.

The secondary schools need to know what level every child starts on and most of them use this to generate target levels for Year 9 even before the first term of Year 7 is over! A quick glance at the secondary school boards will show it is pretty common for new Year 7 pupils to be told their target levels for Year 9 almost straight away

Some secondary schools use SATS as a starting point, some take them as gospel and some dismiss then and do their own tests which can be pretty extensive (MIDYIS testing, punctuation tests, mental maths tests and all sorts...)

If your aim is to avoid formal testing or being allocated a nc level, skipping SATS is probably just delaying the inevitable by 1 or 2 terms.

Satsquash Thu 10-Jan-13 10:24:00

That's not the aim at all, tiggytape, we'd prefer him to be assessed for sets solely by the school we're thinking of sending him to. Just concerned a lack of Yr6 Sats levels would make them go hmm and withdraw their place.
Fine not a problem - the school doesn't currently go down that route and if they did we'd pay it.

Really helpful info everyone, so thank you.

5madthings Thu 10-Jan-13 10:24:59

Can i ask why you want to withdraw him?

We had various reasons to withdraw ds1 mainly to do with the school and we then changed schools anyway.

Ds2 is now in yr 6 and will be taking his sats as the school he is at is very different. They dont make a big song and dance about the sats. They also give the children a treat after the yr 6 sats. Picnic and games etc and they are relaxed in attitude towards the whole thing (unlike the old school ds1 was at)

Ime the sats experience depends a lot on the schools attirude to them, and obviously the parents attitude.

mummytime Thu 10-Jan-13 10:28:21

I assume you are sending him to a private school? (No state school can withdraw a place just because there is no SAT result.)

Satsquash Thu 10-Jan-13 10:28:58

The reasons are due to the way the school approaches Sats, the weight they put on them and the way they've let him sit bored for the entirety of KS2 yet are happy to wheel out his Sats results as evidence of what a fabulous job they've done.

Satsquash Thu 10-Jan-13 10:30:27

No, mummytime, it's a state Grammar. I saw that as more of an issue than Private tbh, as the latter would do their own entrance exam.

tiggytape Thu 10-Jan-13 10:33:25

mummytime is right - no state school has the power to withdraw a place at all for any reason. The LA could withdraw it if you'd cheated to get the offer but SATS result (brilliant, terrible or none at all) absolutely do not come into it.

The only time it may be a consideration, as a long shot, would be if you'd applied for selective schools, not got offered a place and wanted to appeal. In those cases people sometimes use a level 5a or level 6 SATS result as evidence in their appeal but even then it isn't essential.

A lack of Year 6 SATS would not be an issue at all if attending a secondary school that does all its own testing but might be a temporary issue at schools that use the SATS as their main or only method of setting. That varies school to school so you'd have to check.

KatAndKit Thu 10-Jan-13 10:36:00

Can't you just arrange some dentist appointments during the relevant days? I wouldn't recommend pretending your child is sick and telling him to lie as that is a bad example to set, but medical reason absence is something they can't argue with.
A school that has already offered you a place will not take that away due to lack of sats results.

tiggytape Thu 10-Jan-13 10:40:01

Satsquash x posted there.

In that case I do understand you frustration but would suggest that the time for making your feelings known was probably half way through KS2 when he was bored and ignored rather than waving a big two fingers at the school as you depart by depriving them of one set of very good SAT results.

They will suffer if you do this because it will be registered as a fail (otherwise all schools would cheat by allowing those predicted less than level 4's to opt out).

You cannot easily withdraw him in the sense that there is no opt out form but doubtless could ensure he missed them if you were minded to. However this may have some impact on his first term in Year 7 (depending on how the Grammar views SATS results), will single him out in class for the end of his Year 6 and won't really change anything at this late stage. It would definitely annoy the school but it won't change the fact they've left him bored and ignored for KS2.

Satsquash Thu 10-Jan-13 10:40:59

I'd prefer to tell them straight that I was withdrawing him and why. I'd like my reasons on record.

Satsquash Thu 10-Jan-13 10:45:33

Tried and tried to make my feelings known, tiggytape. I suppose it is a case of waving two fingers up at the school, but I'm not going to blush too much about that, I'm afraid!
We have filled in the gaps with extracurricular activities. He keeps his head down, talks over his frustrations with us and understands there is no viable alternative in the area (no room at the other school, we asked halfway through Yr4).

tiggytape Thu 10-Jan-13 10:53:54

Satsquash - you can of course write to complain but, if you withdraw him it will just be recorded as an unauthorised absence and one set of failed results for the school. There would be no direct recorded correlation between you taking him out of school for that time and your feelings regarding the school's failings being known by anyone else who doesn't already know.

A lot of people feel the same. There is a school near us that is rubbish frankly in KS2 but is located in an area where people can commute to grammar school. Many parents realise by Year 4 that their children are making poor progress or are being left to their own devices so engage private tutors. After 2 - 3 years of extensive tutoring, some of them gain grammar school places and virtually all of them achieve level 5 in their SATS (the nearest grammar is super selective so only take 1/12 applicants).
This makes a poor school look absolutely fantastic in the league tables and props up its reputation.

Satsquash Thu 10-Jan-13 11:00:07

The Head and Governors would know, tiggytape and that'd be good enough for me grin. Believe me, I've gone down so many routes to try and highlight serious SMT failings at the school. I know it sounds petty, but "Well, you're not getting his Sats results to wave about triumphantly!" is where I'm at now.

I just wanted to check there would be no repercussions for DS's education, as I wouldn't consider it if there were.

Satsquash Thu 10-Jan-13 11:01:31

Just checked the Grammar's website. They have a 'banding' test day on the second day of the Autumn term for Yr7s.

seeker Thu 10-Jan-13 11:04:36

Such a good idea to let your child know that it's OK to not do stuff you don't feel like doing. A very helpful lesson for the future.

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