Hundreds of thousands of pupils have been getting ready for the tests
Readers of BBC News online have been commenting on plans by head teachers to boycott next month's Sats tests for primary school pupils.
The boycott throws into confusion the national tests due to be taken by hundreds of thousands of 10 and 11 year olds in England.
Here are some of your comments:
Why scrap the tests now? My son has already wasted a term 'consolidating knowledge', ie being drilled in Sats testing and learning nothing new. It would be more effective if parents withdrew children.
Kathy Brodie, Wilmslow, Cheshire
Sats are outdated and need to be replaced with teacher led assessment, that alleviates the unnecessary stress that these tests put the pupils, parents and year six teachers through. Give them back their primary education - and test them closer to GCSEs, when the testing can be more accurate, and pupils that are slower learners have caught up and won't be so affected by the comparisons made in their levels. It is well known that secondary teachers are increasingly more and more frustrated with the discrepancies between primary assessment levels and the levels that the pupils come into secondary school at. This would be removed if the Sats were shifted and used to inform at key stage three, when pupils are more mature to deal with exam techniques.
Lucy Geen, Brixton, London
Sats are only in place for league tables to promote the school and not the pupils. If a child is given test papers to learn it only fudges the figures while at the same time gives a false overview of the school.
Richard Parkinson, Marshchapel, Lincs
I can not believe that teachers are this stupid. Why wait until a few weeks before the test date to announce this strike action? If they really wanted to take this course of action they should have stated this at the start of the year. Leaving it this late means the hard work my daughter has put in over the last nine months to sit these tests has been a waste of time.
Brad Jones, Liverpool , England
The primary school where I'm chair of governors does not teach to cram for Sats. But teachers' assessments need to be backed by objective tests. What is problematic is the conversion of the Sats results into league tables. I remain to be convinced that a boycott at this late stage is fair to the children - and I doubt whether a boycott will change the mind of any government, whatever their colour.
As a year six teacher and a member of NASWUT I am extremely disappointed in the decision to boycott the Sats tests at this late stage. Whilst I do not agree with what the test results are used for (league tables), I feel that if the unions were really against the tests they should have put this motion forward last October. My class have been working incredibly hard preparing for the tests and are now all 'geared up' to do the tests. How am I going to tell them that adults don't feel their tests are worthwhile? I wonder how many of these unions actually asked all of us hard working, totally dedicated Year six teachers!
Nicky Coleman, Faringdon, Oxford
A clear case of head teacher union militants using children as pawns. Why? Because these head teachers are inadequate in the management of their teaching strategies and fear poor Sats results will threaten their jobs. Negotiate a change in testing. Involve the key principals in this - the parents. These head teachers revert back to children's playground talk: 'I'm not playing with you'. The ones who boycott Sats are frightened of the results.
Vernon Turner, St Ives
Another example of teachers being afraid of being assessed and measured for their work. In the private sector (you know the place where people have the threat of redundancy and have to pay for their pensions) employees are measured constantly. League tables are the only light shone into the schools and they don't like it. Also the overall percentages (when you take into account the % who are not voting) show there is no clear mandate for this action - it is political, not educational.
I do not agree with the Sats and don't know anyone who does - the children don't benefit and those who do not achieve 'fives' are left feeling deflated. That said, as my twins have spent a great deal of time studying and preparing for them, now is not the time to scrap them. But they should not be presented in the future.
Louise Brooks, Fleetwood
My child is due to do their Sats in May. Although I think they are an unfair way of judging a child's development I agree that to scrap them now would send out the wrong message to those children who have worked hard, especially over the holidays, in revising for the tests. The science test has already been scrapped and my child asked what was the point of studying science when there was no test!
Mrs H, Sittingbourne, Kent
The tests are a good idea. You can not just use teacher assessment. It is an opinion, open to mistakes. You need independence from the teacher. At least with the tests you can pick up the children who need help and target that help to bring them up to speed, otherwise they will be swept along in the system. Teachers need to be accountable.
Helen Morgan, Poole Dorset
Bizarre! Children deserve better. If the unions feel strongly about this, would it not be more humane and reasonable to give a year's warning and not take part in the preparation for the tests in 2011? This would give the government time to review the league tables and a solution could be sought. But the current position may achieve little - unless of course the action is designed to remind the public that awkward teacher unions still exist!
Paul Lovis, Tring, Hertfordshire
As a parent of young children I think testing them is unfair. Most secondary education seems to be mainly run with course work based education, so why are our young children pressurised and then made to think that school is a scary place? Education at this stage should be encouraging the young, not putting them off. Maybe if the pressure to perform was taken away at this age then truancy in secondary schools wouldn't be as rife.
Vicki, Teynham, Kent
Of course the SAT should be dropped, it hasn't worked in America (American kids being the worst educated in the west) and it doesn't work here, British kids being the worst educated in Europe. It's purely a way of dumbing down the masses!
Peter M Weller, Stacksteads
I don't believe they should be scrapped or boycotted. I'm 17 and about to do my final A level exams and these Sats tests didn't hurt me when I did them. I believe they just give you an experience of what is to come later on in your education. It gets you used to doing exams. If you scrapped these, you would have to consider scrapping more in the future, which in turn isn't fair on the children. It means they won't find exams daunting.
Vicky Fuler, Newhaven, East Sussex