The Yorkshire Post says: Why school tests must be fair to all as pressure to reform grows

IT was Jeremy Corbyn who reopened the debate over Easter about the merits – or otherwise – of tests to monitor the progress of pupils when he called for the abolition of Sats in primary schools.

Are regular tests a fair reflection of a school's capabilities?

However it was not clear whether the Labour leader’s proposition was based on any hard evidence – Mr Corbyn cited Tory cuts – or if this is a brazen bid to broaden his party’s popular appeal in the event of an early election.

Yet, while the monitoring of students and schools has played an important role in driving up levels of attainment and identifying areas of weakness, the Opposition leader is not the only person to harbour misgivings.

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For, while teachers complain about the additional workload, and also stress, the Co-Op Academies Trust, which runs 10 schools across Yorkshire, believes the current regime is ‘fundamentally flawed’ and biased in favour of the middle classes.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says Sats for primary schools should be abolished. Do you agree?

The argument is made by its director Frank Norris who tells this newspaper that insufficient emphasis, and credit, is given to inner-city schools, often in deprived areas, dealing with an above-average number of pupils with special educational needs or entitlement to free school meals. Such schools, he says, can also have a large proportion of students who do not speak English as their first language.

This is a valid criticism. Yet what would be reassuring – and helpful – is if all the main parties actually agreed to a set of criterias for Sats, and other tests, and actually stuck to it, rather than simply making changes for change’s sake and, in doing so, alienating teachers.