Press release statement on PaDE pledge:

A4 petition

Parents Defending Education is launching a national pledge against testing in

primary schools. The aim is to help prepare the ground for action against testing –

including a possible boycott of SATS – in primary schools from Sept 2016.

We want 2016 to be the last year of useless tests.

There is overwhelming professional evidence showing the negative impact of many

of the tests. As Michael Rosen notes

“Learning is getting shrunk down to yes/no answers to fit what the tests

require. Teaching to the test should have no place in a 21 st century education


The impact on our children and on the wider school system is causing concern not

only among parents but across the teaching profession. The government seem

impervious to detailed evidence such as provided by the Cambridge Primary Review.

Our primary schools are being turned into ‘exam factories’. Routine and rote learning

is replacing curiosity and excitement. It is also creating additional problems for many

children with Special Educational Needs (SEN). There is also evidence of testing

having a negative impact on children’s mental health.

The pledge follows on from the successful ‘parents strike’ organised by Let Our Kids

Be Kids in May 2016. Many parents are exasperated at the refusal of the

government to take note of our concerns or listen to the professionals. We feel that

‘enough is enough’. Whilst we recognise that government has a role in education, we

believe that for too long now, a narrow ideological version of education has been

forced on teachers – often against their will & professional judgement.

That is why the pledge is designed to enable parents to get involved and have a say

about the way in which our children are educated. It aims to help re-balance the

debate in education giving parents a powerful and clear voice.

We are encouraging parents in every school to get together, to organise meetings

and to debate the key issues. We recognise that in many schools head teachers and

governors will be sympathetic and supportive. We hope they and other educations

campaigns and unions will help facilitate the pledge.

In September we will announce the next stage of action. The government has plenty

of time to listen, review the evidence and drop the tests before Sept 2016. It has

already announced a partial u-turn on the White Paper. It needs to take action now

to cancel tests and allow the profession to debate and establish an assessment

system that will benefit all children.


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