Why More Than a Score?


Author: Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers

Article 29 of the UN convention of the rights of a child says that education should “develop each child’s personality, talents and abilities to the fullest”. The current system of primary assessment and school accountability narrows the curriculum and places unreasonable and unnecessary on children, their teachers and their families.

More Than a Score is campaigning for the type of education that all children deserve because every child has a unique personality, and their own talents and abilities – every child is more than a score.

This May a survey of the NUT’s members found that:

  • 97% of teachers thought SATs had a negative impact on children’s access to a broad and balanced curriculum
  • 90% of teachers thought SATs had a negative impact on children’s experience of school
  • 97% of teachers were concerned about the impact on children with special educational needs or disabilities

Following Justine Greening’s announcement this autumn 98% of our members told us that they did not think the package of measures presented by the Secretary of State go far enough to improve the experience of children taking the assessments this academic year.

What is most concerning our members is ensuring that the expected standard is a fair expectation of children and their attainment.
More Than a Score launched in November as a coalition of 11 organisations campaigning for reform of primary assessment.

These organisations represent teachers, parents, professionals working in education, child development, and child mental health, as well as a range of academics and experts from across the field of primary education and child development.

More Than a Score gives a stronger voice to the calls we have all been making on the Government and the DfE for reform of the broken system of primary assessment. We want an independent, expert led review of curriculum and assessment and a new model of school accountability that doesn’t use children. And More Than a Score is growing – two new organisations – Sightlines Initiative and the British Educational Research Association are joining More Than a Score and the call for reform.

Together we want to build the pressure on Government for change – as the campaign grows across the country the call for reform can only get louder.

The NUT has printed thousands of More Than a Score stickers that you can use in local campaigning where you live. We have also printed a new publication – The Mismeasurement of Learning (click here to download) – it’s the evidence and the arguments for a better system of primary assessment. If you would like copies of the publication or stickers for local campaigning please email primary@nut.org.uk and tell us a little bit about what you are doing.

We want everyone to get involved with the campaign- use Twitter and Facebook to tell us why your child, your class or your school is more than a score- use the hashtag #morethanascoreUK to share your stories and let us know what you are doing in your local area.
We want to empower and embolden teachers, parents and schools to stand up for the education they believe in. The pressure on children, teachers and schools can’t go on.



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