St Helens Labour have called for an end to the Primary School SATs regime and other high-stakes testing.

Labour support the 97% of Primary School teachers who are in favour of scrapping the SATs – see

At last week’s full council meeting, St Helens Labour brought a motion calling for an end to the SATs and for an alternative approach to be developed. The motion was proposed by Councillor Sue Murphy, St Helens Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Developing Young People.

Councillor Sue Murphy says: “I was proud to take a motion to Council to look at abolishing SATs and other High-stake testing in primary schools.

So now our work begins:-

  • St Helens will support campaigns against the current systems of primary assessment, including those organised by teachers and Unions and the More than A Score Campaign
  • Meet with everyone involved in Education including the unions and discuss the councils position and write a co-ordinated response
  • We intend to Lobby the Secretary of State and alert them to the growing number of voices calling for the abolition of high-stakes testing in primary schools.
  • We will work to support ours schools to adopt a alternative approach to assessment.”

The motion was seconded by Council Leader David Baines, himself a former Primary School Teacher. Councillor Baines says: “I am proud to support this motion. As a former Primary School teacher I have seen first hand the unnecessary pressure SATs and other formal written tests can place on pupils, parents, staff and schools. They’re fine as part of a wider system of assessment, but it is fundamentally wrong to put so much weight on a snapshot judgement of a child. It is no way to judge progress accurately and fairly.

Our teachers are doing an amazing job in increasingly difficult circumstances, and when such an overwhelming majority are telling us that the system isn’t working it’s only right that we listen.

Pupils and parents deserve better. It’s time to scrap the SATs.”

Watch the webcast of the motion and full debate on the Council website here:

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