The Department for Education said these plans were triggered by a need for more confidence in knowing that students are progressing well through primary school.
Mike Parker, Director of SCHOOLS NorthEast, commented on the announcement: “Teaching professionals are divided over the benefits that a further set of national testing for primary pupils will bring. At one level, it enables schools to gauge how their pupils are progressing in comparison with other areas and it also will identify where children need additional support. On the flip side, pupils are benchmarked when they start school and are nationally assessed in their final year of primary school so teachers will understandably question if a further round of national testing is going to provide tangible benefits.
“The Government sells this initiative as benefitting the child’s development but in the high-stakes profession that is school leadership, this is yet another measure by which schools will be scrutinised. With fears growing that ‘football manager syndrome’ is becoming entrenched in education, providing an additional layer of assessment data will only compound that concern.”
Formal SATs for seven-year-olds were abolished more than a decade ago, and the re-introduction initially sparked fears that the government will scrap the newly introduced baseline assessment, which is entirely based on teacher observations.
The Government said it will be working with head teachers in the following months to ensure clarity, while holding schools to account and also giving them “full credit for the progress they achieve”.