We can and must do better for our primary children – ATL responds to primary assessment consultations

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Press release
22 June 2017 by ATL Media Office
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of ATL comments on the Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ (ATL) response to the Government consultations - Primary Assessment in England and the Rochford Review recommendations.

Commenting, she said:

“While the primary assessment consultation does include some positive proposals, we remain disappointed by the Government’s total failure to address the impact of toxic high-stakes accountability on our primary schools.

“We are pleased the Government is committed to improving writing assessment at key stages 1 and 2, as the current system is clearly broken and has had a negative impact on the teaching of writing in the last two years. Too many children have had their last year at primary school blighted by this flawed assessment and almost 50% of children were labelled as failures last year in their SATs, leaving them despondent and stressed.

“ATL remains opposed to the introduction of an experimental reception baseline assessment and unnecessary times table test. At a time when our schools are struggling to make ends meet, and teachers are being shouldered with unacceptable levels of workload, more tests cannot be the answer.

“ATL believes that the time has come to look again at how we measure schools. The current system does not work. We want to work with the Government to develop a fair system that helps every child achieve their potential, while providing worthwhile information to parents and the Government. The current accountability system is neither fair for children, nor useful for parents. ATL believes we can and must do better and we hope the DfE take on board the concerns of our members.”


ATL responded to the following consultations:

Department for Education (DfE) consultation - Primary Assessment in England

Department for Education (DfE) consultation - Primary school pupil assessment: Rochford Review recommendations

Note to editors:

  • The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing approximately 170,000 teachers, headteachers, lecturers and support staff in maintained and independent nurseries, schools, sixth form, further and higher education colleges and universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • ATL exists to help members, as their careers develop, through first rate research, advice, information and legal advice, and to work with government and employers to defend its members’ pay, conditions and career development.
  • ATL is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). ATL is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.
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