9 July 2019 – the overnight press releases

Teachers agree – it’s time to scrap SATs

Responding to today’s [Tuesday’s] indicative ballot by the National Education Union, revealing that 97% of primary school teachers want to replace Key Stage 2 SATs, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

Today’s ballot shows that teachers have had enough with SATs. They want to deliver a high-quality education, rather than be put under the unnecessary pressure of a high-stakes testing regime that offers no benefit for their class.

The pressure on headteachers and teachers to perform well cascades down the school to pupils. Teachers put on revision classes, booster sessions and past papers, all for something that Conservative ministers openly admit is not to assess children, but to test schools.

It is time to lower the stakes of testing. Liberal Democrats would abolish Key Stage 2 SATs and reform league tables so that teachers can get on with the job they desperately want to do: supporting the learning and wellbeing of their pupils.

Tories can no longer claim to be a party of business

Responding to the British Chambers of Commerce and job site Indeed report that 53% of UK businesses with staff from outside the UK would be negatively impacted by the Conservative Government’s immigration proposals, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

The concerns of these businesses is yet further proof that the Tories’ immigration plans would be a disaster for our country. No longer can they claim to be a party of business.

The NHS, the social care sector and other UK employers are already struggling to hire the workers they need. Ending free movement as part of a damaging hard Brexit will make that problem much worse.

We demand better than these disastrous Tory policies. The Liberal Democrats are standing up for British business by fighting to save free movement and stop Brexit.

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  • SATS should be scrapped and replaced with post entry secondary school exams. The idea would be that within a month of attending secondary schools all children would have to sit tests in Maths, English and verbal reasoning. The results would be shared with parents, primary schools and Offsted. This would allow Offsted to review the effectiveness of primary schools with exams carried out by an impartial body and it would allow parents to see just how good their local primary really is. Meanwhile secondary schools would be able to determine the quality of the intake using a process they trust.

  • William Fowler 9th Jul '19 - 8:59am

    I think it is important that children are not locked into education streams due to exams early in their life, some develop later than others.

    Tory immigration policies are the art of unfinished sentences… locking out foreigners from certain jobs would then require welfare reform to make sure there was every incentive for people to work, rather like the joys of a no-deal Brexit have to be matched by tax and spending cuts to make it work. If they ever admitted the whole scenario there would be a lot less enthusiasm for their policies.

  • Richard Underhill 9th Jul '19 - 11:27am

    The slogan is “Everyone remembers a good teacher”, in my case two.
    The first, while teaching maths, also widened horizons beyond ‘the art of the possible’.
    Clear desks, just blank paper.
    Firstly: add up this verbal list of numbers, write down the answer,
    no pause,
    Secondly, another list of numbers,
    Thus challenged we found that what we thought was impossible, we could meet the timescales, and with practice, get correct answers.
    Try it on Crossrail. We were used to catching trains and/or buses on timetable/s.
    Another was history. Those doing this subject for Ordinary level exams at 16 had to learn the period 55BC to 1185, because new discoveries were unlikely, thereby boring the keenest students of that subject. Those not doing that exam, including me, learnt 1900-1955, almost up to date, and were allowed to debate with the teacher. For instance we were all expecting to be conscripted into the armed forces, unless we volunteered. Why? Should we believe what Middle East expert Anthony Eden said about the invasion of Egypt? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Eden
    We learned that the past is changing.
    There was, at that time, a 50-year rule on the disclosure of government papers.

  • Why “reform” league tables? Why not just scrap them?

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