Labour has announced it will abolish Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 SATs and develop a new assessment system that will have fairer, broader, more useful measures of attainment.

Current system

England’s school children are among the most tested in the world, and are subject to particularly high-stress and high-stakes assessments early in their education. The Government's use of these tests puts pressure on schools to narrow the curriculum, focusing on a smaller range of subjects, and an even narrower area within them in order to “teach to the test.”

This puts huge pressure on pupils, and is detrimental to their education. Instead of gaining the knowledge and skills they need for both the rest of their education and life beyond it, they are simply learning how to pass a specific test.

The current system particularly disadvantages children from poorer backgrounds, as well as children from some BAME communities, and those with SEND.

Labour’s Plan

Labour will abolish KS1 and KS2 SATs, as well an abandoning the government’s plans to roll-out baseline assessment in reception.

We will consult with the profession, parents, and other stakeholders to develop a new, fairer, broader, and more useful system of primary assessment.

This new system will encourage teaching a broad and balanced curriculum, while moving to lower stakes assessments, trusting teachers as professionals and drawing on domestic and international evidence of best practice.

This will reduce pressure on children, while supporting schools in teaching a broad curriculum, and give young people the knowledge and skills they will need throughout their lives, while reducing the attainment gap.

Policy Development

This year, through Labour's policy making process, the National Policy Forum (NPF), we'll be looking at how we further develop the policies set out in our manifesto. We have chosen eight key areas to examine and we want to hear your thoughts.

One of the key areas is ‘Local accountability within the National Education Service’ asking how do we empower local communities and ensure that the NES reflects the needs of the many, not the few?

Labour is encouraging anyone with an interest in developing our policy on the National Education Service and wider education policy, like abolishing SATS, to get involved and submit their response online at:

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