Deborah Lawson, Community Assistant General Secretary (Voice Section), said:
“While we welcome the end of uncertainty about what the Government’s plan is, this is still only half a plan, and one which could have been outlined weeks ago.
“Whilst we are pleased that a decision has been made to include supportive resources with the exam papers, making them more reflective of real-world situations, this will not be of equal help to all learners.
“We remain concerned that there will not be a level playing field – for students who have faced more disruption than others, for disadvantaged learners, for students and teachers when results are compared with other years, and for students taking the same qualifications in the different nations of the UK.
“The Government’s stubborn insistence that exams will go ahead, come what may and without a Plan B or C, is in stark contrast to the sensible approach adopted in Wales.
“We do not want to see a repeat of the chaos surrounding this year’s results, with the Government forced by circumstances to change the system in crisis mode at the eleventh hour, but we are now past the point of making alternatives, therefore we conceded this is the best of the meagre offerings presented to us.”
Primary school assessment
Commenting on the announcement on SATS, Deborah Lawson said:
“We are saddened that Year 6 national tests and teacher assessment in English reading, writing and mathematics at Key Stage 1 will remain, when the Government had the opportunity to support the recovery it has spoken about.
“This unnecessary focus on assessment will further disrupt learning in primary schools with little to no benefit for the pupils.
“However, we welcome the cancellation of the Key Stage 1 tests in reading and maths, and the grammar, punctuation, and spelling tests at Key Stage 1 and 2 for this academic year.”