18 May 2017
The Green Party has promised to abolish SATs tests and end the academies programme as it announces its plans for an inspiring education system.
Vix Lowthion, Green Party education spokesperson and secondary school teacher, will pledge to end the practice of testing children from the age of seven through SATs, freeing teacher and pupils from “pointless, pressured testing”.
The Green Party believes parents and teachers should control children’s education – not businesses – and Ms Lowthion will put forward plans to end the academies programme and bring existing academies back under local authority control.
Ms Lowthion will also promise to invest £7billion in the education system to fill the funding gap created by years of underinvestment and cuts. Figures show that by 2020, 99% of schools will have been hit by a funding cut – the average primary school will have lost £103,000, and the average secondary school will have lost £470,000 .
Vix Lowthion, Green Party education spokesperson and secondary school teacher, is expected to say:
“We want to create an inspiring education system that transforms lives and transforms Britain - but that can’t happen without the very basic foundations being in place and this Government has been removing them brick by brick. How are schools meant to prepare children for life when 99% will suffer from funding cuts and children and teachers are subjected to pointless, pressurised testing?
“We need to make up for the enormous shortfall, the massive neglect, in our education system by plugging the £7billion spending deficit. At the same time as schools are getting less resources, more is being asked of teachers and pupils. Getting rid of SATs tests would be one big step towards putting the enjoyment, creativity, and inspiration back into school and ensure teachers are free to teach.”
The launch of the Green Party’s education policy will be held at Sandown Bay Academy in the Isle of Wight, which is facing closure after claims the school is not bringing in enough money .
Lowthion is expected to add:
“The academies programme has taken schools out of the hands of local authorities and parents and given them over to private businesses. That means that if a school isn’t performing a commercial interest, it can be shut down at will by the owners, leaving pupils without a school to go to. We would bring existing academies back under local authority control so that our children’s education is in the hands of teachers and parents, not businesses.”
Clive Martin, Green Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Taunton Deane said:
"I was a governor of my local primary school for 10 years, 6 of those as Chair of Governors. In that time I saw the stress that SATs placed on pupils and staff. They impose a narrow curriculum where teachers are forced to "teach to the test". The most able kids are under stimulated, as it is clear they will achieve the right grades anyway. Kids who struggle are often excluded or not focussed on, as it is clear they cannot achieve the right grades. A lot of effort is put into those just below the middle who with a bit of extra work will do so. This is a distortion of what education should be about. I have no problem with assessing pupils but it does not have to be done in this way.
I was privileged enough to go to university in the 1970s when there was no question of anyone being charged tuition fees, and those whose parents had limited resources got maintenance grants. We want to return to a system where education is a right for all, not something that has to be bought and sold."
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