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Farron welcome complete SATs U-turn by government

October 14, 2008 5:52 PM

Local MP Tim Farron has welcomed today's announcement that the government will be scrapping SATs (Standard Assessment Tests) but has called on them not to replace these tests with more administration.

Children's Secretary Ed Balls told the House of Commons today that instead of SATs a new system of in-school teacher assessment would be used from 2009. But the tests taken at the end of primary school will remain. These examinations will still be used as a basis for school league tables. The new system will use report cards which will show schools' and pupils attainment during years 7, 8 and 9.

The system is thought to be roughly based on a system used in New York which apportions 85% of a student's grade to academic success and 15% will be based on other factors.

Tim Farron MP commented: "I am delighted that Ed Balls has finally seen that SATs have failed a generation of pupils by making them jump through academic hoops rather than actually teaching them in breadth. Education should be about music, the arts and education for education's sake not just narrow dogma to get pupils to pass a test and raise a school in the league tables.

"The marking fiasco is the latest issue in a long line and it has shown the government cannot be trusted, so I'm delighted he has listened to the Liberal Democrats who, like me, have called for years to scrap these tests. I am worried though that the government will use this opportunity to burden our teachers with further administration. It is time to allow teachers to actually teach."