Thousands sign petition to ditch Sats resits plan

Retesting Year 7 pupils would ‘reinforce a language of failure’ at a young age, warn online campaigners

A petition against government plans to force children to resit their Sats tests at secondary school has attracted nearly 3,000 signatures.

Under proposals from the Department for Education, pupils would have to retake the key stage 2 tests in maths and English in Year 7 if they do not reach the government’s “expected standard” in Year 6.

But an online petition, started by a secondary maths teacher, claims this would “slow the secondary curriculum, create a testing culture and reinforce a language of failure inappropriate at such a young age”.

It also says that maths teachers do not think there is enough time to put the changes in place to start in 2017.

Possible debate in Parliament

The petition, which calls for the resit plan to be abandoned, has attracted 2,996 signatures. If it reaches 10,000 signatures, the government will be forced to respond to the concerns it raises. And if it reaches 100,000, it will be considered for a debate in Parliament.

A statement published by the Department for Education in November said Sats resits were “part of the government’s commitment to making sure that every child gets the best start in life and can start secondary ready to succeed.”

An earlier petition launched by a drama teacher criticising the exclusion of the arts from the English Baccalaureate school performance measure passed the 100,000 mark. The petition, by Richard Wilson, head of drama at Moulsham High School in Chelmsford, Essex, will be debated on 4 July. It says the exclusion of art, music and drama from the performance measure is “limiting, short-sighted and cruel”.

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