Headteachers in call for review of primary exams

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HEADTEACHERS in Wigan have called for a major overhaul of Sat tests for primary schoolchildren.

The Wigan branch of the National Union of Headteachers (NAHT) says this year’s exam results for 11-year-olds are only a “snapshot” of the achievements of pupils.

NAHT Wigan Branch Secretary Mike Wilson has now urged the Government to change the assessments to improve the way the progress of primary schoolchildren is monitored.

It follows news that 20 Wigan primary schools have returned dozens of Sats papers this year amid claims of widespread marking errors.

Mr Wilson said: “Results continue to improve and everyone should remember that behind the tables and statistics are thousands of individual success stories. They should not and must not be lost in the debate about standards in our schools.

“The NAHT acknowledge concerns about those children who do not reach the expected standard by the end of year six, but would caution against making sweeping statements or generalisations about this group. Schools are increasingly inclusive and welcome a range of children with a wider range of needs and abilities.

“The results are a snap-shot, they do not show the progress that children have made within a school and so only tell part of the story.

“Pretty much everyone is now agreed that the national primary school assessment system needs radical improvement, as yet again the results sit in the shadow of questionable test materials and valid complaints about poor, variable and inconsistent marking.”