Tougher tests will be kinder in the long run

Tougher tests will be kinder in the long run

It’s been a difficult time for some parents and teachers of year 6 children who have been the first to feel the effect of tougher SATs.

But I would urge them all to not be disheartened – more rigorous testing will put each child on the path to a successful secondary school education.

My biggest concern for education in this country is that we have not been giving primary school children all the tools they need to cope at secondary level.

The new curriculum and SATs are going back to basics and making sure children understand the methodologies behind numeracy and grammar, which will enable them to progress as they get older.

Not having the foundations in place by age 11 has meant some children have really struggled at secondary school.

Good literacy is required for English, the arts and humanity subjects, and strong numeracy skills are needed for maths, science and technology. ‎

With secondary school students moving from class to class, there is no time or space to really deal with those children who start school life without the basics.

SATs results are not a judgement on each child; they are just an indication of their current level and can highlight those who need extra support or have areas needing improvement.

As a teacher, I understand the frustration of how constantly changing demands from the government can make my fellow professionals feel like they’re in a never-ending battle.

But if as a country we are to stop failing our children – as the international league tables suggest we are – then we need to ensure they all reach a level of education that means they cope not only with GCSEs but with life itself.

I sincerely believe the new curriculum and tougher SATs will be kinder on our children in the longer term.

Change is always choppy but for the best interests of all our children and schools, for me, this change is a positive one.

These children are only 11 and have up to seven more years at school. Their SATs results will not define them but could help them to reach their full potential.