Portsmouth City Council could call for primary school SATs to be abolished

One councillor believes SATs are in place to test the teachers rather than the students adding “it’s all about the league tables with no regard given to the children”. The Cabinet member said she’d get rid of league tables in a heartbeat. Could the Isle of Wight follow suit?

Row of coloured pencils

It will be interesting to see whether the Isle of Wight follow suit. Ed


Portsmouth City Council hope the city could lead the way to abolish ‘high-stress’ exams for young schoolchildren across the country.

At full council next week members will vote on whether to lobby the government to end ‘unnecessary’ SATs tests in primary school, as well as other high-stakes testing.

Coles: All about league tables with no regard given to children
Labour Councillor Tom Coles will bring the motion to his peers.

He said: 

“I have got two children in primary school myself and I see the stress they go through at school.

“It seems more that they are in place to test the teachers rather than the students – it’s all about the league tables with no regard given to the children.

“The schools do try to make it as stress-free as possible for the children.

“I hope this is something all group leaders will come together on and hopefully Portsmouth can lead the way on this.”

Horton: I’d get rid of league tables in a heartbeat
Cabinet member for education, Cllr Suzy Horton, agreed in principle. She said,

“The real question is whether we are testing the teachers or the children.

“I don’t necessarily think exams are wrong it just depends what they’re being done for. When I first started teaching there were no such things as league tables. I’d get rid of league tables in a heartbeat.”

She added:

“At the moment we are in a really good place for education in Portsmouth and this can be seen because our reports from Ofsted are getting better and better.”

Future testing
By 2020 children nationally will be tested in Reception (the baseline assessment), Year 1 (the phonics screening check), Year 2 (SATs), Year 4 (the multiplication tables check) and Year 6 (SATs).

If the motion is approved the council will write to the Secretary of State and will look to adopt alternative assessment methods. It will also voice support for the More Than a Score campaign.

More supportive ways to assess children
A spokesman for More Than A Score, which is made up of parents, teachers and education experts, said:

“It’s not right or accurate to base a school’s overall performance on the test results of primary age pupils. There are more supportive ways to assess children and fairer ways to measure schools, without the need to turn pupils into data-points.”


This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed

Image: namoscato under CC BY 2.0

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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1 Comment on "Portsmouth City Council could call for primary school SATs to be abolished"

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Colin
That’s the way to go. If you can’t educate the kids to a decent standard then get rid of the data that shows how you are doing. On the other hand, if the government were held properly to account, the Sats results could be used to make a case for better funding for schools to enable the correct numbers of support staff to be employed so that… Read more »