Should secondary students have to re-take their SATs?

In 2015, Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, announced that year 7 students will re-take their KS2 English or maths tests if they do not achieve the ‘expected standard.’

Morgan explained that students will struggle in secondary school without a good grasp of the basics in literacy and numeracy. The decision for SATs re-sits has therefore been made to ‘help pupils who are at risk of falling behind’ and to stop children being “written off” so early in their education.

Teachers and unions have expressed concerns about the affect this may have on students’ well-being. Education policy advisor, Anne Heavey, said that there was a ‘risk that some children would feel branded as ‘failures from day one.’

Schools have seen an increase in mental health issues, particularly with upper school students dealing with the stress of GCSE exams and many teachers are worried about an increase in mental health problems for children aged 11. There is also a concern that students will become disengaged if plans for re-sits go ahead.

Schools will receive £500 for any student who does not pass in a government bid to support their catch-up. 100,000 students are reported to fall below the expected standard for their age.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron supported the Education Secretary, stating: “There is no job that doesn’t require English and maths, and this is about making sure every child gets the best start in life and that our country can compete in the world.”

Should year 7 students have to re-take their SATs?  Do you think the re-sits will contribute to the rise in mental health problems? Tell us what you think:

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