SATS - primary school - parents fines for absent pupils - primary school pupils and SATs exams

A primary school headteacher in Tarporley has written an open letter blasting the SATS exam which left her pupils in tears.

And Kerry Forrester, who wrote to her MP Edward Timpson, called for SATS tests to be scrapped.

It comes after widespread criticism of the latest reading test paper sat by 10 and 11 year olds across the country yesterday (May 10).

She said on social media: “I cannot believe what we put our 10 and 11 year old children through for the Government.

“SATS must go. Today I have written to my MP and urge you to do the same.”

Kerry Forrester
Kerry Forrester

In her open letter, the head of Tarporley CofE Primary described the latest exam as her “road to Damascus” moment.

She said: “My Year 6 children, all capable readers who love reading, opened their reading test paper and were broken!

“Tears flowed from our most capable readers and stress levels rose amongst all others.

“For no other reason than to sit a test for the government DFE accountability measure.”

Ms Forrester said it was the most challenging reading test she had seen in her 29 years as a teacher.

“Since Covid, we have spent time supporting our children to catch up and to believe in themselves as learners.

“Today (May 10) saw so much of that work destroyed by a snapshot from an inappropriate test.

“Our children are putting themselves under immense pressure to perform well in these tests, which is having a negative impact on their self esteem, confidence and overall mental health.

“This narrow focus on test results can undermine the development of other essential skills, such as problem-solving, teamwork and communication.”

She told Mr Timpson: “I strongly urge you to consider the evidence and take action to address this issue.

“As an MP you have the power to make a difference in the lives of thousands of children by advocating a more balanced approach to education.”

Her letter has gone viral on social media and prompted a reply from the Department for Education who said the assessments have a “vital role” in tracking pupils’ progress.

Read her full letter, below:

tarporley letter


  1. Would be useful if some of the questions were printed so we can judge for ourselves, the few questions I have seen are not overly difficult, so I cannot comment on the entire exam really, but it does appear an odd issue

  2. H Graham says:

    Please make the letter readable! To small, need link to pdf…

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