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Association for Science Education
Institute of Physics
Royal Society
Royal Society of Biology
Royal Society of Chemistry

Government abolishes Key Stage 2 Science Sats

On 7 May 2009 the Government abolished Key Stage 2 Science Sats.  Listed below are the responses from SCORE and the individual SCORE partners following the announcement. 


During the past few months, SCORE has been considering the primary curriculum and its assessment. SCORE believes that science has an important place in the primary curriculum. Science provides learners with opportunities to satisfy their natural curiosity in the world around them. The primary curriculum can allow children to develop an enthusiasm for the sciences and see that it can provide satisfactory and rational explanations for phenomena that they observe and experience.

The current high stakes testing at the end of Key Stage 2 is having a detrimental effect on teaching and learning in the primary phase. This is due not least to pressures on curriculum time caused by the national tests. SCORE welcomes a move from national testing at Key Stage 2 and towards a teacher assessment model. A successful model would enable teachers to give children a broader range of scientific experiences and free them from focussing on assessed outcomes.

SCORE would welcome the opportunity to work with DCSF, QCA, Ofqual and others to ensure that the teacher assessment tools and reporting methods for primary science are fit for purpose. 

Association for Science Education

The Association for Science Education welcomes the proposal to end testing in science at the end of Key Stage 2 from 2010

The ASE welcomes the proposal of the Expert Group on Assessment to end the current system of testing in science at the end of Key Stage 2 in England from 2010. We agree that they are not the best measure of 11-year-olds' scientific ability and risk putting children off science.

Overwhelming evidence gathered over the past decade shows that end-of-KS 2 testing has restricted the curriculum and methods of teaching science not only in Year 6, but also in the earlier years of primary school. This has undoubtedly diminished students' interest in pursuing scientific activities.

Science remains a central subject in the primary curriculum following the Rose report and ASE welcomes a new approach to the curriculum which will see a focus on the skills that underpin good science teaching and learning. Response continues here.

Society of Biology

The Society of Biology supports the move away from SATS to teacher assessment and look forward to working with the DCSF to develop the assessment tasks and the national sampling.

Royal Society

Statement regarding removal of Science SATs at Key Stage 2 and introduction of Assessing Pupil Progress

Sir Martin Taylor, Vice-President of the Royal Society, said:

'The Royal Society is delighted that SATS in science for 10 and 11 year olds are to be abandoned. As we have said before, this type of testing was stopping teachers from inspiring children with the wonder and excitement of science . At a time when developing future generations of scientists could not be more important to the UK's economy, engaging students at the very start of their education is fundamentally important.

We believe that the Government has recognised the problems associated with science SATs. We expect science to lead the way in the new teacher-led assessments, putting the subject at the heart of plans for a new approach to primary education. We hope that assessment in its current form at Key Stage 2 for mathematics will also be modified and that appropriate resources, training and specialist teachers are provided to ensure that science and mathematics primary education in the UK continues to be world-class. 

The Expert Group on Education has stated that science remains central to the curriculum for primary children and this dramatic improvement in the assessment process is warmly welcomed by all those whose priority is science education.'

Royal Society of Chemistry

Of the announcement to abolish Sats for science at Key Stage 2, Dr Richard Pike , Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said today:

"While we welcome the plans to drop national examination of science at KS2, it's important that science is not seen as the "poor relation" compared with formally-assessed English and maths education.

"The removal of Sats at this level means teachers should be free from "teaching to the test" and will give them further opportunity to deliver inspirational practical science lessons."