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SATs for seven-year-olds to be scrapped in primary assessment overhaul

18/09/2017 Joanna

The government has confirmed that SATs for seven-year-olds in England will be scrapped as part of a broader overhaul of the primary assessment system.

Plans have been announced by education secretary Justine Greening for a new approach to testing that focuses on pupil progress, literacy and numeracy, while also reducing unnecessary workloads for teachers.

Under the new plans, key stage 1 tests and assessments will become non-statutory from 2023, while the requirement for schools to submit teacher assessment data to the government for reading and maths at the end of key stage 2 will be removed.

Instead, a new teacher-mediated assessment in the reception year will be implemented from 2020 to provide a baseline measure to track pupil progress during primary school, with the check to be developed in conjunction with the teaching profession. Efforts will also be made to enhance early-years foundation stage profiles by reviewing supporting guidance.

Additionally, a multiplication tables test will be introduced from 2019-20 to aid children's fluency in mathematics, while teacher assessments of English writing will be enhanced by giving teachers greater scope to use their professional judgement when assessing pupils at the end of key stages 1 and 2 from the current academic year.

Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said: "Today the government have confirmed that, from this year, teachers will once again be able to apply professional judgement when assessing pupils' writing.

"Teachers and school leaders have argued strongly that sufficient flexibility to properly recognise pupils' achievements was needed. This move is a welcome step in the right direction."

These new proposals were developed based on the findings of a 12-week consultation with the teaching profession and other stakeholders.

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