Imagine if we tested every child at the end of their first term in secondary school…
Surely there would be an outcry even if this was disguised as a baseline from which secondary progress data would be calculated?
(First blogged in June 2016; plans were withdrawn by government in October 2016)
Meanwhile, in the real world the majority of Year 7 children will be looking forward to the Christmas break at the end of a long first term in secondary school. For a significant minority, however, there is the proposal for them to undertake SATs resits at the end of their first term in Year 7.
Is it feasible for children not reaching ‘the required level’ by the end of Year 6 to achieve this just a term later? For children not attending a middle school there is the significant change of moving from their school of between four and seven years to a new, larger and different type of school. Has this been considered?
When was the ‘required level’ defined?
Will this proposal increase the motivation of such children at a time of significant social change?
On 7 June 2016 I was asked to contribute to an article outlining the proposal and seeking responses from a range of people.
I don’t think branding it as a resit helps. A resit is branded as: you’ve failed. If you’re going to have another assessment I would rather it was something at the end of year 8, so that the students have a couple of years to get used to the school, and for the school to get used to them and to help them. And as with so many of these initiatives, they don’t come with additional resourcing. There’s going to have to be a bit more understanding of key stage 2 [years 3 to 6] by secondary practitioners, but then you’re going to have to give staff the time to do that, the time to go to primary schools to see how it’s been taught. That takes time and money out of your own budget.
What are your thoughts?
Imagine if we tested every child at the end of their first term in secondary school.