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Diane Abbott to join Hackney kids for Scrap the SATs jamboree in Clissold Park

PUBLISHED: 10:22 30 May 2019

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, visits members of the Communication Workers Union on the picket line outside a closed Post Office in Hackney, east London, as members of the CWU and Unite are staging a 24-hour strike in disputes over pensions, jobs and closures.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, visits members of the Communication Workers Union on the picket line outside a closed Post Office in Hackney, east London, as members of the CWU and Unite are staging a 24-hour strike in disputes over pensions, jobs and closures.

PA Wire/PA Images

Kids and their parents will protest against the SATs regime in primary schools in Clissold Park next week.

Hackney North Labour Party and the borough's branch of the National Education Union (NEU) will host the Scrap the SATs jamboree, which has been billed as a "different kind of protest" featuring face-painting and games for kids and "high stakes" tests for the adults.

It comes in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn's announcement in April that Labour was committed to ending SATs and the destructive competition of school league tables.

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The event on Friday coincides with the launch of a month-long consultative ballot of NEU members in primary schools to gauge support for a boycott of work around SATs and other tests in 2020.

Hackney North secretary Maia Kirby, herself a primary school parent, said: "The current intensive system of tests sucks the joy out of learning and is branding all too many children as failures."

A 2017 survey of primary school teachers found almost unanimous - 97 per cent - support for the view SATs were limiting access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Nearly 90pc of teachers felt they placed pupils with special educational needs and disabilities at a particular disadvantage, while two-thirds thought SATs also disadvantaged pupils with English as an additional language.

Hackney NEU secretary Dave Davies added: "The tests are about comparing schools and encouraging them to compete rather than assessing children in a way that actually helps teachers support learning instead of forcing them to 'teach to the test'."

Diane Abbott and deputy mayor Anntoinette Bramble are expected to attend the event, which takes place near the Church Street entrance from 3.30pm to 5pm.

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