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#KidsStrike3rdMay - 10 reasons why I'm supporting the Kids Strike

By 19:16:00 , , , , , , , , , ,

All across the UK today thousands of parents of six and seven year old have been taking their children out of school as a form of protest against the Y2 SATS. I have to say I completely agree with them and if J was old enough I would be taking him out of school too. 

Parents and Kids protesting against SATS (Royal Mail)

The story is being covered in all the main newspapers today – such as this article in the daily mail, but the story has been overly sensationalised with the only argument given for protesting against the SATS being the stress they have on the children. I don't think its that simple and here are my 10 reasons why I am supporting the parents who have taken their children out of school.

  1. Physical stress - the above article and others that are circulating today state that the SATS are causing children stress with reports of children not eating, not sleeping and worrying too much about the upcoming exams. Whilst I suspect these reports are in the minority and are possibly an overexaggeration in some cases, these things usually have some basis in fact and if children are not eating or sleeping this is going to affect their performance in the exams and make the expeerience even more negative
  2. Peer pressure - With children of this age it's all show and tell and even at the tender age of 6 or 7 it is natural that they will be comparing their results with their peers. Some might suggest this encourages competition, but it is more likely to cause unfair comparisons with children being disappointed that their results are not as good as their friends and in the extreme leading them to believe that they aren't good at a subject causing an unhealthy relationship with a subject in the long term and affecting their future learning in that subject.
  3. Parent Pressure – I've seen this mentioned in some of the comments sections on some of the articles online. With the stress experienced by some children being related to pressure put on them by their parents. I hope I never fall into this category and as long as J does his best that's all he can do and I'd be happy with that. Children pick up on parent behaviour however subtle and it's natural that parents want their children to do well . Some parents build up their hopes for their child and then of course if the child doesn't do as well as expected then the parent then has to hide their disappointment and children being children see straight through the put on smiles. You also get the scenario of the child being rewarded by the parent if the do well in their SATS but what if they don't or what if another child doesn't get a reward and sees their friend get one. This could cause some jealousy .
  4. SATS are NOT a good indicator of measuring individual performance – its a couple of exams, usually taken over a week or so and only measures skills in English Language and Maths. Surely the teachers are the best judges of children's progress. They monitor and observe the child over the course of a year watching them develop (as I'm always being told by my health visitor 'Children all develop at different rates) maybe if more money was given to help with the teaching and there was less focus on exams then children's overall progress would be better with extra help going where it was needed.
  5. SATS don’t show who knows what, it just shows who is good at exams. The results are not truly representative of a child's ability just what they remember on the day and we all know every day is different. The day they sit that test they may have been feeling ill, had bad news or have other things on their mind which affect their performance on the day.
  6. Each child is different – the tests assess Maths and English language skills, but some children shine in the more creative pursuits, some in sports and others are better at more vocational subjects – we don’t want carbon copies of the same children finishing primary school we want individuals with different talents and strengths and teachers who motivate them.
  7. SATS Create government statistics – My child is not a statistic he is an individual. The problem with statistics is that they are used and abused to make political points and for the campaigns and policy makers so that they have numbers they can quote. The numbers are quantitative and qualitative – and at the end of the day the numbers don’t tell us much. When I was at university studying sociology I remember hearing a quote that has stayed with me 'There are lies, damned lies and then there are statistics', the manipulation of these figures by politicians is disgusting and that is why I want my child to not be included in them,
  8. Children are children for far too short a time and have plenty of exams in later life – why start so soon. 'Let kids be kids' is one of the main slogan's I've seen in the press today and I totally agree. Children end up growing up so fast anyway and have to deal with so much darkness in the world, we should let them be children for as long as possible.
  9. Children are missing out - School should be fun, children should learn through play at this age, they should get a full curriculum of all the subject and not just be trained on the SATS. It concerns me as to what children are missing out on, the extra help they could be getting where they really needed it, learning new skills and having new experiences instead of all that time be sacrificed to prepare for SATS
  10. They are too young - These children are 6 or 7 depending on the timing of their birthdays. Many have only started school aged 4 or 5 so they have only been in school 2.5 years and we are already assessing them - it seems so wrong.

England is the only country in the UK which has SATS for children in this age group, Wales scrapped them and Scotland and Northern Ireland have never had them so why is my child being prejudiced against just because they live in the UK.

Let kids be kids (Royal Mail)


Let them learn, Let them play, Let them be!!!

What do you think? - add your comments below.

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