Welcoming news that Labour in government will abolish Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 SATs and develop a new assessment system that will have fairer, broader, more useful measures of attainment, Stephen Morgan, Members of Parliament for Portsmouth South said:
“Our school children are among the most tested in the world, and are subject to particularly high-stress and high-stakes assessments early in their education.
The use of these tests puts pressure on schools to narrow the curriculum, focusing on a narrower range of subjects, and an even narrower area within them in order to “teach to the test.” This puts huge pressure on pupils, and is detrimental to their education. Instead of gaining the knowledge and skills they need for both the rest of their education and life beyond it, they are simply learning how to pass a specific test.
Specifically I’m concerned the current system particularly disadvantages children from poorer backgrounds in our city.
That’s why I welcome Labour’s plan to abolish KS1 and KS2 SATs, as well an abandoning the government’s plans to roll-out baseline assessment in reception.
Consulting with the teaching profession, parents, and other stakeholders to develop a new, fairer, broader, and more useful system of primary assessments the right thing to do.
We must ensure a new system encourages teaching a broad and balanced curriculum, trusting teachers as professionals.
I have very confidence approach will reduce pressure on children in our city while supporting Portsmouth schools in teaching a broad curriculum, and give young people the knowledge and skills they will need throughout their lives, while reducing the attainment gap”.
The MP regularly visits Portsmouth schools and colleges to meet with teaching staff and heads. His ‘Portsmouth Against School Cuts’ campaign has involved surveying all schools in the constituency and bringing local headteacher reps to Parliament to lobby Ministers for proper funding for city schools.