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Parents pull entire class of pupils out year 2 SATs exams

PUBLISHED: 12:05 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:08 16 May 2019

Parents Heather Chandler and Lavinia Musolino are pulling their children out of SATs exams Picture: RESCUE OUR SCHOOLS

Parents Heather Chandler and Lavinia Musolino are pulling their children out of SATs exams Picture: RESCUE OUR SCHOOLS

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An entire class of pupils at a Suffolk primary school are boycotting SATs exams - with parents arguing children should be learning more than just how to pass tests.

Bealings School's chair of governors, Rick Gillingham, says the school understands the parents' position Picture: RESCUE OUR SCHOOLSBealings School's chair of governors, Rick Gillingham, says the school understands the parents' position Picture: RESCUE OUR SCHOOLS

Fifteen parents at Bealings School, near Woodbridge, have decided to take their children out of the exams, which take place this month, saying that their children's education is being ruined by over-testing.

Parent Lavinia Musolino said: "We understand the headteacher has a legal obligation to submit the tests and make sure the children are doing them, but as parents our opinion overrides that and, frankly, so it should."

Fellow parent Hetty Chance added: "My message to the government would be that we as parents want high standards.
"We want our children to have a broad, rich and enjoyable time at school and it is being spoilt by this constant testing."

In 2017 the government's education select committee looked into the effect of SATs, discovering that "the high stakes system can negatively impact teaching and learning, leading to narrowing of the curriculum and 'teaching to the test' as well as affecting teacher and pupil wellbeing."

The parents at Bealings School are being supported by the Rescue Our Schools campaign, which has published a video on YouTube on why parents have decided to make a stand.

Min Clough, parent governor, said: "I think there are other ways of observing and assessing our children and seeing how they're progressing thought their learning years.

"I just don't think we need a standardised test to do that.

"And I think it's nonsense to say that we need all of that data because all of the private schools, the fee paying schools, they're not required to give this data and they're not required to sit the SATs.
"So I'm not sure why it's one rule for one and one for the other."

Rick Gillingham, chair of governors, said: "It seems to me that the whole landscape around SATs has changed in the public perception.

"As a school we're certainly not going to stand in the way of that and it fits in, to some degree at least, with our ethos as a school that over testing is certainly something that we wouldn't go along with."

A spokesman for the school said: "Of course the school is always ready to fulfil its statutory obligations."

For more information on the Rescue Our Schools Campaign
see here.

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