Extra May bank holiday will clash with first day of SATs tests

Government said May 8 would be 'for families and communities' to celebrate King's coronation, suggesting schools will close

Government said May 8 would be 'for families and communities' to celebrate King's coronation, suggesting schools will close

7 Nov 2022, 16:43

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An extra bank holiday to mark the coronation of King Charles III next year will clash with the first day of key stage 2 SATs tests.

The national day off will fall on Monday 8 May, two days after His Majesty’s coronation in a televised ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

It comes after election officials warned that a Friday bank holiday could disrupt the vote count for local elections in England on May 4.

But the new date is likely to cause disruption to primary schools, some of which could also be closed while being used as polling stations during the elections.

The Department for Education (DfE) confirmed on Tuesday that schools would close for the bank holiday.

In an update to education leaders, it said: “Settings that are normally closed on a bank holiday should close on this day. This will include schools and colleges.”

It added that the Standards and Testing Agency would update schools and stakeholders as to “what this means” for SATs tests “as soon as possible this month”.

Year 6 pupils are expected to sit tests between May 8 and May 11, with a test on English grammar, punctuation and spelling currently scheduled on the same day as the bank holiday.

The government’s announcement on Sunday said the date would be “an opportunity for families and communities across the country to come together to celebrate”.

Schools will already be closed for two other May bank holiday dates – May 1 and 29. However, the latter falls during the May half-term holiday.

Dates for key stage 2 assessment next year were set out by the Standards & Testing Agency last month.

Over four days, children are due to sit six tests, including on their reading comprehension and mathematical skills.

Schools are also expected to face additional pressure this year, as performance data from 2022-23 assessments will be published for the first time since the pandemic.

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  1. Simply change the date of the Sats. Why make a mountain out of a molehill? The King’s Coronation is a huge event, an important moment in history and a time to celebrate. We need such events to come together and celebrate life. Especially after Covid years and the ongoing repercussions. Stop throwing cold water on any form of relief! Try being positive for once, or your negativity will consume you.

    • I agree in theory but I’m a primary school teacher and can tell you that it’s not that easy! Things that can’t be moved without financial implications have been booked around the SATs dates. Even moving that one SPAG test to Friday morning won’t work for many schools as they’ll have booked events for the Y6 pupils.
      We ALL agree that we want to celebrate this momentous event but it’s not as easy to move things as you’d first think!