THE president of a Bradford teaching union has called SATs a crude measurement tool that puts schools under pressure.

The news comes as a survey revealed parents' opposition to the primary school Standard Assessment Tests (SATs), which begin this week.

The tests, which were cancelled the previous two academic years due to the pandemic, have proven unpopular both with parents and the teaching profession.

Polling by Parentkind finds that:

• 89 per cent of parents disagree that SATs help to improve school standards.

• 86 per cent disagree that SATs are a useful way for the Government to hold schools to account for their performance.

• 95 per cent report that SATs have a negative impact on their children’s wellbeing.

"SATs skew what's taught in school," said Ian Murch, president of the Bradford branch of the National Education Union (NEU). "Tests are not wrong in what they measure but they are too narrow.

"Every kid should learn numeracy and literacy but skewing is not helping.

"There are other subjects and children also need a good moral education and they need to learn to socialise.

"The outcomes matter to schools," said Mr Murch. "They focus a huge amount tests because they have to.

"They don't matter to children at school or at any other time in their life.

"SATs also make somewhere like Bradford look bad because league tables reflect the affluence or poverty of the areas being tested.

"Children of well-educated and well-off parents have an advantage. Some of them go to school with higher levels of language.

"Tests don't reflect a school's contributions."

Mr Murch said SATs also put a lot of pressure of teachers, particularly those who teach Year 6 pupils.

"If you are the Year 6 teacher, the school's expectations are on you. There is a tendency to think that results are down to that teacher when sometimes there are pupils who are exceptionally clever or others who have learning difficulties.

"Two schools could be miles apart in the league tables but these kind of results lead to skewing. Gaps in measurements are so small.

"SATs are a crude measurement that puts schools under pressure."

Parentkind CEO John Jolly added: “SATs are intended as a measure of schools, not pupils, but that doesn’t mean that children don’t worry about taking them. Of course schools must be held to account, but our research is showing that four out of five parents disagree that SATs provide them with useful information about their child’s achievements or progress in school.”