LABOUR would abolish primary school Sats under plans to scrap the ‘regime of extreme pressure testing’, Jeremy Corbyn has said.
The stress was ‘giving young children nightmares and leaving them in floods of tears’, he added.
‘I meet teachers of all ages and backgrounds who are totally overworked and overstressed. These are dedicated public servants. It’s just wrong,’ Mr Corbyn told the National Education Union’s conference in Liverpool.
He said Labour would scrap baseline assessments for reception classes and consult on an alternative that ‘prepares children for life’.
He added: ‘When children have a rich and varied curriculum, when they’re encouraged to be creative, there’s evidence they do better at the core elements of literacy and numeracy too.’
Mr Corbyn said his party trusted teachers and would raise standards by freeing them ‘to inspire children, not pass them along an assembly line’.
The NEU’s Dr Mary Bousted said Mr Corbyn ‘recognises the damage a test-driven system is doing to children and schools’.
Pupils aged six to seven are tested at the end of Year 2 (Key Stage 1) and, aged nine to ten, at the end of Year 6 (Key Stage 2). Key Stage 1 will be replaced with a baseline assessment in reception from next year.