Looking at the current crop of SATs-related headlines, I can’t help but worry. Or rather, I can’t help but worry at how little I’m worrying. Surely I – partner of a primary school teacher, mother of a year six pupil – ought to be more worried than most. Yet somehow, the whole SATs hoo-hah is passing us by.
My son has not been sent home with bundles of SATs practice papers to pore over. In the playground with him and his classmates, I get no sense of impending doom. While one or two parents have been taking it more seriously, even to the extent of sending their children to SATs tutors, for most it’s been a non-event. The main concern is transition to secondary school, where we’ve already been told that SATs results will not be playing any significant role.
Which is why I find the idea of SATs boycotts more than a little bewildering. Are my children really embroiled in “a high stakes testing system”? Are the maths and English papers my son’s about to take genuinely “pointless and damaging”? Surely he’s just going to sit in a room and answer some questions, the results of which will not be used to brand him forever, but to measure his school’s performance. At the risk of sounding flippant, shouldn’t we all just chill?