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Monday, 15 May 2017

Greens pledge to scrap SATs and academies

The Green Party has promised to abolish SATs tests and end the academies programme as it announced its plans, for what the party call, "an inspiring education system". Vix Lowthion, Green Party education spokesperson and secondary school teacher, has pledged 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 say they believe parents and teachers should control children’s education – not businesses – and Ms Lowthion has put forward plans to end the academies programme and bring existing academies back under local authority control.

Ms Lowthion also promised to invest £7billion in the education system to fill the funding gap created by years of what the Greens describe as underinvestment and cuts. Although the Greens have promised £7bn of new money but they don't say where the money is coming from to pay for it. 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, said: "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 was 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 added: "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."