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  New Children's Laureate: 'I hate SATs'
Updated 14 May 2003, 17.09
New Children's Laureate, Michael Morpurgo
Top author Michael Morpurgo, the new Children's Laureate, has spoken out against school exams.

In his speech accepting his new job, Michael said that he had taken the English SAT for a newspaper and it was "the most boring thing he'd ever done".

Lifetime of writing

The Children's Laureate is an award for a lifetime's writing, but is also an important job.

For the next two years, Michael is in charge of promoting kids' books.

The Laureate is chosen by a panel of judges after votes from school children have drawn up a shortlist.

New Children's Laureate, Michael Morpurgo

Michael is very keen to take on the role, he told Newsround's website: "It's a very important job, I want adults to realise children's writing is important."

The author's got very strong views about education, he told us he was put off books for 20 years because of the way he was taught!

And Michael doesn't believe SATs are helping: "I had 20 minutes to describe a scene and had to include punctation, grammar and correct spelling, that doesn't leave time for creativity.

"Literature should come before literacy," he said.

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