Parents organise day of protest against SATs and academy decision

SUS-160427-092623001
SUS-160427-092623001

Parents will be keeping their children away from lessons for a day to protest “stressful” exams and the government’s decision to turn all schools into academies.

Dozens of mums and dads and their children will be meeting at Southwick Green on Tuesday (May 3) from 10am-3pm as part of the nationwide Let Our Kids Be Kids campaign.

Many parents say that their children are stressed and upset about the prospect of these tests and the tests seem to hold no value for the child or the teachers.

Jane Hames

Organiser Jane Hames, whose children, Sidney, nine, and Floyd, seven, attend Glebe Primary, said any parents who wished to join them would be welcomed.

Explaining the pressure put on Year 2 youngsters when they took their tests, she said: “The Key Stage 1 SATs are too hard and unrealistic. Many parents say that their children are stressed and upset about the prospect of these tests and the tests seem to hold no value for the child or the teachers.

“The tests replace time that the teachers could spend doing more creative, active and fun teaching. Some of them are six – in lots of countries they haven’t even started school yet.

“The standard of difficulty has been raised in these tests which makes me feel that the children are being set up to fail.”

Describing the importance placed on the Year 6 SATs as “misleading”, Jane added: “The children are only aged 10 or 11 so these tests will not affect their future careers.

“Our brilliant teachers work with their classes all year – they know which areas they are doing well in, and which areas they need more help with.”

The parents will also be protesting the government’s recent decision to convert all schools to academies – with many sharing the view that the move will see the privatisation of the country’s schools.

Jane said: “I don’t want my children’s education to be about profit. Academies have their own agendas and recent reports have revealed academies rejecting less academic children so that the school’s results look better.

“I believe this is so dangerous for our children and the future of the country.”

The Southwick Park protest – which will include sports, art and creative learning for the children – will run from 10am-3pm.

All parents and children are welcome to attend.

Protests are also scheduled for Homefield Park, Worthing; Buckingham Park, Shoreham; and Preston Park, Brighton.

To find out more about the Southwick protest, log onto their Facebook page.

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