BOOSTER classes in school holidays, endless mock exams and tests for homework have driven a group of Andover headteachers to call for a new way of thinking.

Headteachers of Pilgrims Cross CoE Primary School, Jon LeFevre, and Appleshaw Primary School, Ian Hickman, have joined forces to create the Charter on Assessment for Children — a promise to alter the way exams are seen.

It promises that “assessment is only used to support further learning for our children; by our staff knowing them better as learners and people to create bespoke curricula and teaching and ultimately help children continue to succeed in the future”.

Consulting parents, teachers and governors at both schools they have said that they will “not run any additional SATs booster classes, holiday clubs or other such provision that would indicate that the SATs tests have any broader significance than being simply a tool to aid teacher assessment”.

They also pledge pupils will be prepared emotionally for SATs and ensure children leave with results that are “a true representation of their skills and knowledge”.

Mr Hickman said: “We [the Assessment for Children group] believe that all pupils are entitled to receive a rich, exciting and engaging curriculum, which should not be compromised by statutory assessments undertaken at the end of Key Stage 2.

“We believe that children will be better prepared for their future if they have experienced the full breadth of the primary curriculum and not seen it narrowed in Year 6 because of the pressure to achieve high scores in SATs.

“Schools are under significant pressure to produce ever higher attainment at Key Stage 2 but it is our view that statutory testing in English and Maths undertaken in Years 2 and 6 has very limited scope to measure children’s attainment in its fullest sense.”

Last month the charter was presented to an All Party Parliamentary Group on the impact of statutory testing on children’s wellbeing, alongside Sean Harford, national director for education at Ofsted, and Nick Brook, deputy general secretary at the National Association of Head Teachers, to name a few.

Dr Vicky Randall, of University of Winchester, who assisted the charter, along with Tim Deery, head at Portway Junior School, said the headteachers were coined “brave” and “courageous”.

The group will continue to engage with colleagues, educational organisations and politicians to highlight the issues around Key Stage 2 SATs, progress measures in schools and the accountability system.