The new SATS system was designed to compliment a tougher curriculum that was put in place from September 2015.
Ofqual, the exams regulator, remarked that the SATS in the 2015/2016 round were “unduly hard”.
Parents are up in arms about the reading segment of the English SAT; a pupil sitting the exam needs to pass all elements to be at an ‘acceptable standard’.
All whilst teachers unions are concerned about the new system and have threatened boycotts and strikes.
The National Teachers Union has said;
“The Sats fail to provide useful information to parents about how schools perform and don’t tell teachers anything useful to support individual pupils in their learning. Furthermore, the high-stakes nature of primary testing puts unnecessary pressure on pupils and education professionals.”
Staffing alone costs £10.8 million not including other essentials such as the professional skills tests for teachers.
We Can Cut Marking Costs by 100%!
A major part of the costs is down to the exams being paper based and the logistical nightmare of matching up classes to markers – who may very well be miles away.
SATS are extremely inefficient; like multiple choice sections where the tickboxes are simply crosschecked against a standard marking sheet.
Overlooked all too frequently is the availability of online exams, platforms even mark the tests automatically. If deployed on a large scale the Government could eradicate most of the logistical marking process.
Of course as soon as one suggests computer based examinations, schools and examining bodies begin to fret about cheating. Testing platforms by their online nature present new ways to get round the system; but no more than traditional testing.
Technology has surpassed these fears however given school networks can be easily restricted to produce a fair testing environment.
Online Exams Are The Future
The Scottish Qualifications Authority is transitioning to digital exam content by 2020. The Department for Education is notoriously slow at adopting technology. There is a real disparity in the Scottish and English approach.
While we wait for the education to effectively enter the digital realm, there are platforms out there for class tests and quiz’s.
Furthermore at DesignATest we think teachers need a break from marking, our online test platform offers automatic grading.
You can easily create multiple -choice, short answer and exam style tests and get results instantly.