Move over junior doctors strike. Now we have children on strike – or at least pencils down in the classroom. Today, Tuesday 3 May, thousands of parents may tell their children NOT to go to school for the day, as a protest against the new round of national testing for primary school kids.
The Let Our Kids Be Kids campaign says that the new Key Stage 1 SATs (which children sit at the end of Year 2) are tougher than the previous tests. It claims the tests will cause children as young as six to label themselves failures. Some parents warn that kids’ mental health is at risk due to the stress the exams cause.
The group have amassed support on Facebook, and some 22,000 parents have signed their petition to scrap the tests.
In an open letter to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, the parents say they have “reached the point when it is time for us to speak”, telling her that “children as young as 6” are “crying about going to school”, and that many are being asked to learn concepts which were beyond their capabilities.
The group also claim that in the long term, the system was churning out children who, having been taught in environments “obsessed with passing tests rather than learning for learning’s sake”, were eventually entering the world of work unprepared.
The group adds that to demonstrate how strongly they felt, they’ve organised a day of action with a Kids Strike on 3 May. They say this will see thousands of primary school children staying off school in protest at the Department for Education’s testing policies.
The group says it wants an immediate end to SATs, which 6 and 7 year old children will have to sit for a week in May.
The date of Tuesday, May 3, has been chosen for the strike because it is a non-testing day.
What do you think? Are your children off school today? Have you signed the petition to end SATs? Or do you think the testing is OK and has a place in primary school? Let us know in the comments below.