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Scrap the SATs: Kids and campaigners take to Clissold Park calling for end to primary school tests - as union ballots on boycott

PUBLISHED: 20:02 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 20:02 07 June 2019

The 'scrap the SATs jamboree' in Clissold Park was organised by the local Labour Party and the Hackney National Education Union branch. Picture: Joshua Thurston

The 'scrap the SATs jamboree' in Clissold Park was organised by the local Labour Party and the Hackney National Education Union branch. Picture: Joshua Thurston

© Joshua Thurston - All Rights Reserved

Children want to skip school to avoid the stress of SATs, according to a parent supporting a Hackney campaign to stop the tests in primary schools.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble at the 'scrap the SATs jamboree' in Clissold Park. Picture: Joshua ThurstonCllr Anntoinette Bramble at the 'scrap the SATs jamboree' in Clissold Park. Picture: Joshua Thurston

Hackney North Labour Party and Hackney National Education Union (NEU) organised a "scrap the SATs jamboree" in Clissold Park on Friday afternoon.

The NEU is holding an indicative ballot to see if there is support among primary school teachers to boycott the tests.

Mia, eight, who completed her Year 2 SATs last year, said: "SATs are not as good for children because it puts stress into you."

Her mother Anita told the Gazette her daughter does not want to take further SATs at the end of primary school due to the pressure she experienced during the preparation period.

The 'scrap the SATs jamboree' in Clissold Park was organised by the local Labour Party and the Hackney National Education Union branch. Picture: Joshua ThurstonThe 'scrap the SATs jamboree' in Clissold Park was organised by the local Labour Party and the Hackney National Education Union branch. Picture: Joshua Thurston

Anita said: "She really loves school and misses it on the weekends and during school holidays but after she experienced SATs in Year 2 she said she would quit in Year 6 just to not do the SATs.

"They say they are judging the school but they are judging each child."

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Bethany Merrifield, a Year 6 student at Northwold Primary School, added: "I don't think SATs are beneficial in the long term, for example, for getting a job.

The 'scrap the SATs jamboree' in Clissold Park was organised by the local Labour Party and the Hackney National Education Union branch. Picture: Joshua ThurstonThe 'scrap the SATs jamboree' in Clissold Park was organised by the local Labour Party and the Hackney National Education Union branch. Picture: Joshua Thurston

"I'm not saying there should be no assessments but I don't think they should be as big of a deal and worry kids."

Jane Bassett, 59, a secondary school English teacher from Hackney NEU, said: "The NEU is running a campaign to end what is called high stakes testing in schools.

"This gives confidence to teachers that parents are on their side.

"It's about saying schools should be accountable to local communities and parents, not government league tables."

The 'scrap the SATs jamboree' in Clissold Park was organised by the local Labour Party and the Hackney National Education Union branch. Picture: Joshua ThurstonThe 'scrap the SATs jamboree' in Clissold Park was organised by the local Labour Party and the Hackney National Education Union branch. Picture: Joshua Thurston

The event was also attended by Hackney's deputy mayor and education chief Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, who said she would pass on feedback to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow education secretary Angela Rayner. Hackney North MP and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott had been invited but was unable to attend.

Cllr Bramble said: "We need a system that's more manageable and meaningful."

She highlighted the support for the Labour Party's announcement it would scrap SATs and said she had reassured parents an alternative would be put in place that would also place emphasis on children enjoying learning.

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