On the day when this year’s SATs results — the first since 2019 — are published, London pupils will head to Westminster for a Parliamentary briefing-with-a-difference. They will reveal the truth about the damaging effects of the tests and the growing case for reform to primary assessment in songs, poems and pictures, as well as traditional speeches.

Presentations to MPs and peers will include accounts of stress, anxiety, loss of interest in learning, teaching to the test and a reduced curriculum. Year 6 pupils from Surrey Square Primary in Southwark – who have just taken their SATs – will be crossing the capital to share their views.

In a moving poem, they will ask:

Who are you to judge me?

You make a judgement about me based on my ability to read and comprehend.

You make a judgement about me based on my ability to solve maths problems

You make a judgement about me based on my understanding of writing

But you do not know who I am

The meeting is being hosted by a cross-party group of MPs, including Twickenham MP Munira Wilson, LibDem Education Spokesperson. It comes in the wake of growing calls for a new approach to primary assessment and accountability.

Research conducted in March this year revealed:

• 89% of parents support an alternative to SATs (source: Parentkind)

• 80% of parents don’t believe SATs provide useful information about their child’s progress in school (source: Parentkind)

• Only 3% of headteachers wanted SATs to go ahead in 2022 (NAHT)

• 60% of 10- and 11-year-olds were worried about taking SATs and 1 in 10 weren’t sleeping well because of the worry (YouGov)

Chilo Graham, assistant headteacher at Surrey Square will highlight what preparing for the tests means for children living in areas of high deprivation. She will tell MPs, “Imagine you’re 11, sitting your SATs, feeling exhausted because you live in temporary accommodation that is riddled with mould and infested with vermin that keep you awake at night.” She will point out that schools, “teach children the skills that they will need in all aspects of their lives. Nonetheless, they are solely judged on what they can do in three subjects, across four days. Without regard for the social and economic challenges they face. Their well-being, not taken into account.”

Munira Wilson comments, “The primary years are the bedrock of a child’s education. We must do everything we can to support children to grow into happy, healthy and confident adults. Reducing unnecessary stress on pupils and teachers and ending ‘teaching to the test’ must be the first step”.

The More Than A Score campaign, which includes 65,000 supporters, plus teachers, heads and education experts, is calling for a profession-led review of the current system. Spokesperson Alison Ali comments, “We believe in high standards and the value of assessing children to help their academic progress. But the current system does not help children’s learning, narrows the curriculum and causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. What’s more, parents recognise this and want to see a different system. It’s time for policy-makers to listen.”