TEACHER TAKES HER SON OUT OF SCHOOL SATS GAVE HIM BREAKDOWN

TEACHER TAKES HER SON OUT OF SCHOOL SATS GAVE HIM BREAKDOWN

A teacher has taken her own eleven-year-old son out of school because he is “stressed and anxious” about his SATs – which caused him to have a BREAKDOWN.

Denise van de Griend says Year 6 pupils like her son Joey are subjected to too much “needless” testing.

She says the pressure has affected his physical and mental health and made him physically sick.

She has removed him from Carbeile Junior School in Torpoint in Cornwall for three days of home schooling to avoid the exams despite the threat of prosecution and fined.

Denise, 47, who is a supply teacher at a local secondary school, said: ”A couple of weeks ago Joey had a complete breakdown.

“He was in a state of high anxiety, nervous and crying, and he was sick in the toilet.

“I am very worried about the negative effects these tests are having on my son’s mental health and indeed his memories of his last year in primary school, and the negative effects this will have on his love of learning in the future.”

Denise has also written to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to complain about “needless” testing.

She added: “Since my son has started Year 6 he has undergone SATs practice tests, practice for the practice tests, mock SATs, and every other type of pre-SATs tests his school have thrown at him.

“This is his last year at primary school and he should be broadening his education by exploring outside, doing more cooking and life skills, art, music, PE and science practicals, not sitting inside being tested for the sake of testing.”

Instead of being at school, Denise is spending the first half of this week taking Joey on “educational visits” to local museums and the National Marine Aquarium.

She is also taking him rock climbing, sailing and kayaking and teaching him to cook a three-course meal.

She says she has not yet decided whether Joey will take the SATs at the end of the week.

She said: “Why are we allowing our Year 6 children to be put through all these tests?.

“I put my son’s mental health before any type of test and I will do that every time if I have to.

“I am not going to stand by if I believe something is harming him.”

Pete Hamlyn, Carbeile Junior School head teacher, said: “It is important for a child to attend school and therefore gain the education and skills they need throughout their lives.

“Where there are issues over attendance we work closely with education welfare officers, parents and pupils to try to sort out attendance issues.

“This may involve arranging home and school visits to discuss the situation.

“They will try to find out the reasons why the child is not attending school and take steps to try and get the child back into school.

“This includes offering support or signposting to other agencies. Prosecution is a last resort when everything else has failed.

“Where parents are finally taken to court for school attendance offences they do run the risk of being fined or even sent to prison.”

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    • After originally starting her journalism career at local paper the Leicester Mercury, Laura moved to Bristol to become a senior reporter at SWNS. She now runs the ‘Sell Us Your Story’ website, gathering different stories and undertaking general reporting and copywriting duties.

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