Here are some (but not all) of the comments made by petition signatories on the International Petition to Stop School League Tables for Five Year Olds which are already published on the Gopetition site. This list is currently a little rough as far as the formatting goes – I’m aiming to tidy it up as soon as I can but the quotes are the same as on the petition itself 11.20 a.m. Updated 17th. January, 2011.

Tracey Matthews

Ludicrous, as long as my children are happy and feel secure at school when they are 5 years old that is all I worry about. League tables are stupid – as well as exams for 7 yr olds. Let our children be children and schools do their job of making happy healthy and intelligent children not worried ones.

 763 Katharine Baker

With all efficiency & systemic approaches or when setting a goal we must first ask ‘what is the purpose’? What is this measure for? How will it help our children? What is the true driver for more bureaucracy and how will this inform that?

 762 Patricia Wildig

Oh for heavens sake. How stupid is this idea.

761 philip hills

Nobody wants or needs this. Nobody. It is a harmful exercise in empty, meaningless ‘accountability’.

758 Liam Collins

As PISA study shows, formal education shouldn’t start until 7…but this is expensive and Gove can’t ‘test it’. Unnecessary pressure on children. My son is already rolling his eyes when we talk about doing his ‘words’. He loves school, but this excessive h/w is already destroying that love

757 Paula Cleary

No tree ever grew taller for being constantly measured

743 Kenneth Parrott

A clumsy, divisive and destructive proposal.

742 Jane Higgs

It is completely ridiculous to force such tests on children at a time of life when their rate of development is so variable.One of my friends did not learn to read until she was 7, but she was always intelligent and quickly caught up. In later childhood and adulthood she is intelligent and articulate and reads more than almost anyone I know. This leads me to wonder what can be gained from such tests – late developers being branded stupid helps no one.

736 Roger Gifford

How the hell do you “categorise” 5 year olds!

735 sheila wallace

how many more idiots are we going to vote in to parliament – we have enough daft directives from Europe without any more from our own MPs. Leave the educational needs of our children to the experts – the teachers!!

 733 Samantha Jutson

And there was me thinking that we had made progress with the Foundation Phase/Stage. Lets bring in a new league table and take about 100 steps back!!! his makes me so furious and totally negates everything that the Foundation stage stands for!!

Once again Government you have surpassed all expectations in the race for supreme idiocy!!!! 

732 Angela May

Focus in the early years should be on communication, play and socialisation, NOT targets designed to introduce failure at an early age. Help them to learn how to have fun, experience happiness and develop friendships and imagination.

This promotes wellbeing which in my humble opinion beats punctuation hands down every time!

731 Natalie Smith

Stop school league tables for all children.

727 Laura Caldwell-Young

This idea is absurd as most 5 year olds can just about hold a conversation! We are in danger of making children grow up much quicker than they need to. Let children learn the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic and develop their social skills before teaching them to “write properly”. And what does using joined up writing actually prove? All that happens is that writing becomes more difficult to read as people get older.

726 Christine Taylor how ridiculous…….

725 Alison Freer My 6 year old is now very reluctant to go to school and the reason he always quotes is his worry about the Friday spelling test. This week he had 40 spellings covering 4 spelling rules. He got only one right and is disheartened. When I discussed it with the teacher the response was ‘we have to do it’ for the National Curriculum’. Where is the expertise of teachers in all of this?

718 Richard Hesketh Absolute lunacy. We needy consider abolishing all of these.

711 Tara Stevens how is this a healthy or fair measure of a school’s success? Children at that age are in their very early stages of development and are all at different levels, no child will be at the same level! This will put unreasonable pressure on vulnerable children when they’re so new to education, it might turn them off for life. Please see sense and think about the children and their parents who will agree that you can’t measure a child’s success by their achievements age 5!

709 Emma Magnago-Prime Back to signature list

Such pressure at such an early age can only be damaging. It will turn children off education.

707 Jonathan Davies Back to signature list

Children are entitled to childhoods. They should not be put under these pressures.

706 Margherita Watt Back to signature list

Lay off our kids just starting school!

694 Filomena Livingston Back to signature list

Has been proved many times that in country’s where school start later they perform better later in life… Let’s our children

be children please….

691 Phil Cox Back to signature list

Let children be children!

685 helen dobson Back to signature list

I strongly disagree with these plans, it can cause all sorts of problems, such as bullying and discouraged children!

682 Jennifer Beaven Back to signature list

strongly oppose this decision. I have 3 grandsons. One could read at 5, one absolutely COULD NOT and the third is

just trying AT HIS OWN PACE!!

676 Lise Madsen Back to signature list

What on earth would be the point of testing someone who has been going school for ONLY one year? A test would

reveal nothing useful as differences are likely to be down to individual developmental pace, levelling themselves out

later. Waste of time and focus.

668 Maureen Burgoyne Back to signature list

Children under the age of 6 years develop and learn at their own pace, individual pattern and circumstances. How can

summer born children be able to ‘catch up’ a whole year of their development when they are only four years old?

They do not need to change their learning environment until they are 6 and government policy needs to support parents

right to choose, by providing funding to nurseries, in the same way as reception classes (i.e. full time funding) and

raising school entry to 6 years.

661 Trevor T. Smith Back to signature list

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Modern education has forgotten to wait until the child is ready to ask the right question; children are naturally inquisitive;

and we stupidly place the computer mouse in the hands of the infant because we believe the computer is the home of all

the researchers’ knowledge the child will ever need. Modern education tends to give the answer before the child has

asked the question. Different children require a different amount time to develop. Each child is different.

660 Carol Murphy Back to signature list

Publishing league performance tables for five year olds is a really bad idea. It puts unnecessary tension into the lives of

teachers, parents, carers and children, and can have no beneficial effects. It may adversely affect the children’s

enthusiasm and hasten the “shades of the prison house” –

657 Sharon Pritchard Back to signature list

As both a parent and a primary school teacher I feel strongly that these tests will harm children’s education at a crucial

stage in their learning. The results will be a reflection of the catchment area of a school rather than giving any genuine

information about the quality of teaching or rate of children’s learning.

651 Jane Radford Back to signature list

League tables are crude and meaningless for any age of pupil. The younger the pupils the more meaningless they

become. This would result in the wrong sort of pressure being put on schools, staff and children.

650 Wendy Ilderton Back to signature list

I believe that testing 5 year olds and judging schools on the basis of these results is a ludicrous proposition. It can only

result in the  unmoulded intelligence of young children being judged and ranked. Young children join school at different

stages of development and it is the hard job of their teachers to bring them (as much as possible) to a standard. If a

child has only just started school it is impossible to judge the efficacy of a school based on test results.

646 Amy Griggs Back to signature list

Five is too early to start publishing league tables- children’s brain development is still taking shape at the age. Making

these kind of judgments at this age will be helpful to no-one and will add unnecessary pressure to teachers and,

ultimately children. The focus of the first year of primary should be on social and emotional development and developing

cognitive skills through play.

645 Helen Cox Back to signature list

It is not appropriate to publish school results for 5 year olds. As petition says it puts unwarranted pressure that is

distinctly unhelpful. It would be more appropriate that schools have guidance and support in analysing their own data, so

they identify actions and developments to improve practice and outcomes for the children.

644 Sylvie Morton Back to signature list

After introducing the controversial EYFS, this is going one step too far. Let the children just be happy!

641 Jane Howes Back to signature list

Why can’t children be allowed to be children rather than being forced down a prescriptive path of learning which it would

seem is far from holistic.

636 David Phillips Back to signature list

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It seems to lack professional judgment to ignore the research in this area out of what appears to be ideological reasons.

We should not play around with the education of the most vulnerable age group of children.

632 Sally Woods Back to signature list

As a nursery teacher I fully support the petition to prevent testing and publishing results for young children. The idea is

completely ridiculous and should be outlawed. It could thoroughly undermine children’s self esteem and set them on a

path to failure in school. BAN IT!

627 Sheila Clissold Back to signature list

Let teachers teach..let them bring out the best in each of their pupils..this has nothing to do with league tables and

statistics which will be for ever manipulated to serve somebody’s power game.

Once upon a time teaching was a vocation..

626 Karen Senior Back to signature list

Children are already expected to grow up far too quickly we should be giving them more time in pre – school before

starting formal learning. Please don’t put our children under any more pressure and let them play

615 Ruby Galili Back to signature list

Five year olds need to be encouraged to learn, even Robert Owen in New Lanark School c 1810 tried to get them

learning by nature rambles etc and looking rather than testing.

It should be a carefree happy time for such little children without stress.

613 Lydia Keyte Back to signature list

As Chair of the national charity What About The Children? a charity which promotes better understanding about the

emotional needs of children under 3 and with years of experience as a Primary School Headteacher I am very anxious

about the proposal to publish league tables of results at age 5. Young children’s learning flourishes when they feel

secure, have the opportunity and are encouraged to actively explore their environment to develop a breadth of skills,

understanding and knowledge.

612 Caroline Darrah-Morgan Back to signature list

League tables are the enemy of education. Schools teach to get results rather than to educate and encourage children

to take exams that will produce results that make the school look good. Do not extend this madness to early years

education, please.

610 Ingrid Shelley Back to signature list

I was so dismayed by the league table/ testing culture in primary schools that my children go to a local Steiner school.

This further move into league tables is bizarre.

609 Marie Louise Williams Back to signature list

Please stop this. It is simply self-serving information for bureaucratic ends and time consuming for teachers whose skills

are better directed at enabling children to enjoy learning – that is the greatest thing they can teach them and this gets in

the way.

607 Leonor Couper Back to signature list

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League tables cause schools to compete against each other and put a lot of negative pressure on the children. 5 year

olds do not need that kind of pressure

605 Marion East Back to signature list

I have campaigned for high quality early education for all children for many years, it is this that leads to success and

achievement not measuring children at five.

Measuring and league tables are divisive and counterproductive.

604 Karen Ellis Back to signature list

To much pressure on kids, no wonder we have so many people with stress in this world!!

603 Sarah Jones Back to signature list

I strongly support this petition. I have an 11 year old who didn’t read until he was 7 but since then has read Lord of the

Rings Trilogy and many of the classics. He was not pushed but has achieved his own level and his own love of

literature. Five year olds, their teachers and their parents do not need this sort of pressure to conform to a standard.

602 Jackie Lavelle Back to signature list

I work as a Nursery manager of a full day care nursery, children are under enough pressure at school, if this goes

ahead then i would leave this profession. Children learn the most through play, just let them play and be happy and not

fall into this league table of education, ITS WRONG!!!!!

600 Denise Keen Back to signature list

Learning should be an exciting, pleasurable experience for infants. Children acquire skills and knowledge at a different

rate from each other and teachers need be allowed to be sensitive to this. Pushing children in order to tick the boxes

results in less creativity from the both teachers and children, and leaves less room for individualism and self expression.

Performance Tables also create a detrimental effect of ” winners” and ” loosers” upon both individuals and schools.

594 Laura Atkinson Back to signature list

I am a final year BA(hons)Early Years student with a 41/2year old. I am fully behind this petition and think the amount of

assessment at such a young age is unnecessary, especially when the league tables probably wont identify how many of

those children have additional needs or EAL.

588 Debbie Watson Back to signature list

I strongly support this action to petition against the use of learning outcomes for 5-year olds as data for league tables- I

think it will be highly destructive of the good work done with young children and will skew the purposes of education for

this age group.

579 Kathy Stevens Back to signature list

I find it shocking that the Coalition Government could even be considering this, given the overwhelming views against it

from so many experts in the field

574 Sheelagh Carville Back to signature list

This strategy would put dreadful (and unnecessary) pressure on EY practitioners. It is an example of how ‘top-down’

management leads to ‘short-termism’ with regards to quality assurance and enhancement.

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571 JANE WRATTEN Back to signature list

I think it is completely outrageous that children this young should have any kind of pressure put upon them (or their

carers) regarding their, or their setting’s ‘performance’. This should be resisted strongly by all who work in Early Years.

Let children breathe!!!

568 Janet Stovld Back to signature list

Having had 3 children go through the schooling system and seeing the angst caused by SAT’s, etc, we have opted out

of the system and home educate our 4th child.

567 catherine whitaker Back to signature list

As well as working as an early years consultant for many years I have four children of my own. My second son was a

Summer born and experienced the type of pressure and pushing to learn to read being promoted by this government.

Although he eventually achieved this, as an adult he would never choose to read for pleasure or to gain information. Is

this what we want for our children or do we want to instill a love of reading and books for life!!

566 Denis Hayes Back to signature list


559 Ranju Bouri Back to signature list

Poor children. Parents anxious to obtain the perceived best for their offspring. Tired, rundown and demotivated teachers.

Standardization breeds mediocrity whilst stifling the very creativity and inspiration required to meet the

challenges of an uncertain future. Poor kids. Whatever? Poor kids held back from learning through play. I foresee a future

where children will need to be taught to play….

558 Jane Louth Back to signature list

League tables for such young children will distort educational provision, diminishing rather than enhancing it’s quality. In

the longer term, children’s dispositions to learn may be compromised and their lifelong learning opportunities eroded.

551 Nicholas Moon Back to signature list

Our Scandanavian colleagues will be shocked.

549 Linda Richards Back to signature list

It is unbelievable that the government want to test five year old children. The pressure on children to achieve is not only

inappropriate and unnecessary. The results will also be unreliable.

542 rebecca ashton Back to signature list

Children are under enough pressure 5 is too young to be at school anyway

538 Liz Bradley Back to signature list

Let children be children & have a childhood!

534 Sofi Johansson Back to signature list

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Studies have already shown that the exam based UK education is not serving to bring up confident, critical thinkers!

Why in the world would you expand something that is already failing!

533 Zoe Reynolds Back to signature list

League tables for EYFS children is wrong – these early learners should be enjoying their first footsteps into education

not being put under pressure to achieve as government set desirable target.

532 Ann Cronk Back to signature list

As and AST teacher for Early years I am shock and distressed that the government would even suggest publishing the

profile scores for children at such a young and vulnerable age. This will only cause distress for parents and staff as

children develop at such different stages at this age. This will put pressure on everyone to obtain unreal scores.

525 Claire Salter Back to signature list

I already despair of the state of the children in this country due to the ignorance of governments, past and present.

Looking at countries like Sweden and Denmark could make all the difference, in the education of our children and, most

importantly, their happiness in life. We only have one life but spend the first part anxious about succeeding and the

second part anxious about our children succeeding. Think of their lives now.

522 Alan Lewers Back to signature list

It is awful that there is this relentless attack on childhood

518 sarah cox Back to signature list

I work in the early years and am completing the EYPS. I like the EYFS as a practice guidance but feel that assessing the

children in such a formal way is counter productive and could cause anxiety for parents whose children are supposedly


516 Michael Rosen Back to signature list

Testing five year olds is both pointless and harmful. It is pointless because it will reveal nothing useful for teachers or

parents. What we need are conversations around and with five year olds. If, as a result of those conversations, certain

issues or problems arise, there are varied diagnostic tests that can be used. In other words specific, targeted tests – not

blanket, uniform tests for everyone. Such tests are harmful because they skew the curriculum, depriving children of play.

513 Maeve Birdsall Back to signature list

I am opposed to league tables for children of such a young age. Reception teachers are already under enough pressure

to teach children content that they are not yet ready for. If we are truly committed to the “unique child” then it would

detrimental to all our 5 year olds to let this happen.

509 Rita Baker Back to signature list

School league performance tables do not compare like with like. Of course it is essential for schools to be held to

account and be constantly encouraged to improve. However, education needs to be about the whole person, not just

academic achievement. How, for example, can one establish performance tables for emotional intelligence? My

experience as a school governor is that league tables create unnecessary pressure, require additional work and

encourage creative manipulation of statistics.

500 Richard Brinton Back to signature list

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Life is a tickbox: you have either achieved goal 32 (and all others), or not – no colour, no inbetweens, no other choices,

no consideration of something being irrelevant for this child, or harmful. How sorry one is for those who think this way

and set up such a system. But, oh how the heart bleeds for the child who is subjected to it. When will sanity and

humanity return?

498 Julia Cross Back to signature list

All league tables should be banned. They put unnecessary pressure on teachers, staff, practitioners and children.

Teachers and early years practitioners should be allowed to concentrate on the children’s well-being, learning and

development and not paperwork, tests and league tables.

495 Jane Read Back to signature list

In light of the radical action with which this coalition government is pursuing other agendas this is a most surprising

proposal which is deeply unwelcome, retrograde and potentially damaging to many good services which are already

under pressures of many kinds. These pressures are likely to increase as a result of other actions by this government…

490 Andrea Green Back to signature list

I watched my children go through SATS in years 2 and 6. I saw how the teaching changed in order to coach the children

in passing tests and it had a direct impact on my youngest childs love of science, corroding it and showing him its

boring. A league table for 5 year olds will lead to the same. I have worked within the early years sector for 12 years and

have seen how everything produced by the government is turned into a ‘tick list’ even by managers of outstanding

settings. Please rethink this

485 Chris Merrick Back to signature list

League tables based on EYFSP are not going to be helpful in ensuring that young children get the foundation to learning

that they need and deserve.

478 Mike Radford Back to signature list

The establishing of school league tables for performances of 5 year olds will be professionally damaging to the schools

and educationally damaging to the children.

477 Mark Larrad Back to signature list

How can anyone not oppose this nonsense?! Too much too soon and certainly potentially damaging.

475 Jenny Kennedy Back to signature list

I am completely opposed to this proposal. Their will be no benefits to be gained for children, families or professionals.

Any league tables compiled from profile results would go against all the principles which underpin the EYFS itself.

474 Sally Cranfield Back to signature list

My nephew was of concern to his primary school when he wasn’t reading at 7. His mum didn’t share these concerns and

allowed him to go at his own pace. He went to Cambridge straight from state school, gained a 2-1 and is now one of the

youngest professors teaching at university.

472 Tim Gill Back to signature list

Unnecessary, all but meaningless and almost certainly counterproductive.

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467 yohan alicante Back to signature list

This is an unnecessary, shortsighted, ill-informed, irrelevant, bureaucratic, cumbersome, inefficient, distracting,

disillusioning, dumbing-down, dithering, dillettant approach to the education of our youngest children. It is a proposal

that fails our children, our teachers and our parents but above all it fails our democratic ideals and principles. An

unasked for, unproven, whimsical and totally prejudiced imposition by a more powerful figure ( a minister) on those

weaker than himself.

464 Geoff Taggart Back to signature list

As a lecturer in early years education , I fully endorse the sentiments of this petition

457 Janne Bekker Back to signature list

Let our children be children

455 Frances Engelhardt Back to signature list

I think this is ridiculous when can the Government start to get it children need to be children and have fun to learn and

enjoy school irregardless of academic outcome.

454 Neil Henty Back to signature list

Children must be able to enjoy childhood, while learning, exploring, discovering, creating, imagining, playing and finding

who they are and how they interact with the world and the people in it, with all the associated ups and downs. They do

not need to compete, nor justify the small amount of money that is spent on them by people who do not understand

them. They will spend plenty of time in the rest of the education system for that.

449 mel willmore Back to signature list

What difference does a league table make apart from adding stress and pressure on staff to ‘perform’ well which directly

transfers to the children. Children are assessed in good settings daily by the key people or staff who have contact with

them through observations and are bought on in their learning through activities devised for them accordingly. A league

table will do to settings what it has done to schools by looking at the outcomes without considering the starting points.

445 Sue Robson Back to signature list

As Principal Lecturer and Subject Co-ordinator for Early Childhood Studies at Roehampton University, the home of

Froebel College, I deplore the proposal to publish ‘league tables’ for the EYFS as inappropriate, dangerous, and,

ultimately, valueless.

444 Marie-Louise Charlton Back to signature list

Tests (LT) at this age are completely meaningless and totally unreliable but unfortunately can result in dire

consequences for the child if the information gets into the wrong hands and is interpreted inappropriately. It is

completely unethical to start labelling children so young and there are far more important things that should be

happening at this stage of development. Pediatric psychiatrists are experiencing longer and longer waiting lists.

Shouldn’t we be heeding the warnings? Stop!!!!

443 Sebastian Suggate Back to signature list

Educational policies such as those opposed by the current petition are the hallmark of a lifeless thinking, that sees

children as economic products subject to the same quality control as, for example, automobile tyres. We, the British,

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have shown ourselves to be mighty at industry, noble in law, but poor in the art of education desperately needed in the

21st century. I urge those dedicated to a true education based on respect for the sacred and unique state of childhood to

sign this petition.

435 Michael Williams Back to signature list

Testing at any age is totally unnecessary .I am proud to teach in a school where no child has ever been tested in the 27

years of its existence and they have all found their way in life quite successfully.

434 Chris Reilly Back to signature list

I oppose league tables for five year olds.

428 susan wade Back to signature list

League tables put pressure on teachers, parents and consequently children to achieve certain levels and can lead to a

perception of failure if those levels are not reached. They have caused stress to children of all ages who have had to do

SATs and other assessments and should not be introduced to children as young as 5 as it may well affect their ability

and engagement with learning which should be a joyful and unstressful process particularly at this young age – they are

ONLY 5 years old!!!!!

420 Kevin J. Brehony Back to signature list

School league tables are principally devised to measure teachers’ performance on the erroneous assumption that if

children do not attain arbitrarily set ‘standards’ it is the fault of the teacher for not cramming the pupils sufficiently.

Meanwhile, children’s health and development is often impaired through the stress and anxiety they cause. They are

entirely inappropriate for young children who need play opportunities not grinding for test.

418 Sharon Burdis Back to signature list

How much more can this government do to ensure the UK’s children are the unhappiest in the developed world. Is it not

enough that our key stage 1 and 2 children are stressed and unhappy because of testing and league tables, we have to

put our youngest through the same stress.

414 Kirsty Coles Back to signature list

I am flabbergasted at the latest idea to publish results for 5 yr olds…give our children a chance to be children..like other

european countries do.

413 Hannah King Back to signature list

Stop robbing children of their childhood! If you want a nation of confident, resourceful adults start formal education at

seven years and allow true childhood play to unfold.

408 belinda connolly Back to signature list

I think that testing 5 yr olds is a retrograde step in an already over extended, result orientated, culture.

395 Marie Peacock Back to signature list

Childhood wellbeing, happiness and good quality of care cannot really be measured by tick-boxes and children develop

at different stages.

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393 Jo Barwick Back to signature list

I am an early years specialist and nursery teacher in a primary school. All you will be tabling is where children are at as

they arrive from their families. It cannot be a reflection on what the school achieves for those children as they are in a

totally different stage of development, and are assessed on where they are in their development, not what they achieve.

Do not link money and attracting ‘good parents’ to a school to the way we humanise and support our youngest children.

392 Catherine Beaumont Back to signature list

Let us look to the other countries who have better educational results than Britain, yet start formal education later.

Please do not put these young children under this absurd pressure. Seek, instead, to have more graduates in early

years and fund that sufficiently so young children have the meaningful learning opportunities they need to develop

positive learning dispositions. Then perhaps young children will not be ‘turned off’ education and the results will speak

for themselves.

387 JANE HALLMAN Back to signature list

Please listen to the experts – ie. the people actually working with Early Years children every day. These children are not

even of statutory school age and certainly do not need grading even before their official schooling begins.

385 Kathleen O’Neill Back to signature list

Please do not take young children’s childhoods away. League tables are for football.

384 Philip Booth Back to signature list

This shocking development is an indication of how little our government understands children. This cannot be allowed to

go ahead.

382 Pat Gordon-Smith Back to signature list

When asked in 2008 whether targets in education create pressure on children, Michael Gove said, ‘The pressure is less

on the children, I would think, than on the schools to ensure that children are taught properly’ (Early Years Educator,

Sept 08, p.15). The plan to introduce league tables at age 5 shows that, in government, Gove still fails to appreciate the

seriousness of the knock-on pressure for young children’s learning and quality of life.

381 Sigrid Kleinjans Back to signature list

Does this really care about the well-being of the children? I don’t think it does.

378 David Smith Back to signature list

This proposal amounts to child abuse, especially for boys and minorities. It is also completly counter-productive.

International comparison shows that a later start (by up to 2 years) to formal instruction in reading and writing is likely to

improve performance. A later start would also diminish the gap between boys and girls. My despair at this proposal is

that, once again, ignorance in high places jeopardises the chances of of our young children. Note developments in

Wales and emulate.

374 J D Hayward Back to signature list

This policy would lead to making children less free, less happy, waste their time as well as that of their carers and

government officials, and therefore taxpayer money, a step in the wrong direction like the reading tests for 6-year-olds,

and similar interference and shaping.

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372 Rebecca Le Cornu Back to signature list

Lets try to stop being so afraid and learn to trust and inspire that we can all learn, in our OWN time.

367 David B Lawrence Back to signature list

Child development is notoriously difficult to calculate even with elaborate psychological tools but these tests are crude

and therefore meaningless.

364 Jonathan Townsend Back to signature list

I most strongly support this petition.

362 katherine hennessy hunt Back to signature list

crazy idea! i wonder do any other countries have this policy? and what are the repercussions?

355 David Bilton Back to signature list

Testing proves nothing – let the students learn without the millstone of testing

352 hannah cumming Back to signature list

This is ridiculous. Please remember what it is and should be to be a child. Let them become balanced, happy, normal

people, full of natural potential- not anxious, overworked and overburdened boxes for the government to tick. To what

end- what kind of people do you want children to grow up to be now?

Who is this really for?

It is heartbreaking and has to stop somewhere.

351 Alyson Maunder Back to signature list

So now we name and shame at 5 years! How exactly does this improve the quality of children’s lives ?

343 Chloe George Back to signature list

I will not let my young children be put under this sort of pressure at such a young age! It is appalling! They should be

having fun and should no be subjected to this. Children are already growing up too fast. Please stop it now.

342 Francisca Reinoso Back to signature list

Dont push children to be adults too soon,

let them enjoy a child free obligations.

337 Kate Miller Back to signature list

Let the litte ones develop in their own time.

332 Janet Parsons Back to signature list

Why in this country do we put so much pressure on the really young? Some children are reading, self taught, by the age

of four years, others do not read until later. Can’t we just wait and let children develop unpressured and in their own

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time. our educational system is not answering children’s needs but those superimposed by political idealism..

331 Marjorie Ouvry Back to signature list

About testing young children, McMillan, the founder of Nursery Education in this country in the the early 20th centuary

said , ‘You don’t gather grapes in February, even off a good vine’

327 A Hales Back to signature list

School Report for: The Government, UK

Lacks imagination. Does not take the views of others into account. Glosses over underlying problems by using

distraction techniques. This latest offering lacks insight, consideration and lateral thinking. Must try harder.

324 Edeline LeFevre Back to signature list

Where is common sense? Children need to be protected at that age and not exposed to adult pressure! Let them play

and learn!

323 Sholeh Fadami Back to signature list

This is a very worrying trend. I have already been dismayed by early learning years keeping a record of my three year

old’s development complete with photos and filming without my know how. Children are put under too much pressure at

too young an age in this country.

322 Anne de Silva Back to signature list

Having spent many years as a teacher, a head teacher, an inspector and curriculum and leanring support consultant,

the evident lack of understanding by politicians who are prepared to pursue such a crass and unenlightened approach to

early learning and development leaves one breathless – and utterly dismayed.

318 susan straw Back to signature list

This is completely ridiculous – it shows complete lack of understanding of child development.

317 Maureen Hunter Back to signature list

I would not want my child to be exposed to these pressures.

316 Sally Bott Back to signature list

I have two sons who both struggled in school with the basics of reading and writing in reception and year 1 classes. By

the end of primary school, one of them had read “Lord of the Rings” and had excellent writing skills and the other was

also fluent in reading and writiing. Early pressure to achieve predefined targets would have put my boys off. I know, I

tried it, then backed off when I could see it was counterproductive.

314 Lucia Gomez-Santana Back to signature list

What next? measuring babies’ performance in the womb? This is one step too far. Children are unique and develop in

different ways and at different times. Tables generate targets; the risk is that they will put teachers, parents and carers

under pressure, at the cost of the individual child’s well-being.

311 kate kekwick Back to signature list

PETITION: Stop school league tables for five year olds Page 31

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children should be able to learn through play at this age. formal assessment of which is up to good teachers rather than

tick boxes

304 Alison Murphy Back to signature list

I oppose publishing school league performance tables for England’s five year olds on a school by school basis.

301 Richard Atkinson Back to signature list

Chyildren should be educated for something more than wage slavery.

298 una herman Back to signature list

This needs to be stopped. To much interference is not the right way forward.

Time and again league tables have proven not to have worked. Quality comes from the committment of quality staff, a

loving caring environment and support from parents to staff and staff to parents. The main winners in an environment

like that will be in the long term ‘the children’

286 James D’Angelo Back to signature list

If we wish to preserve the integrity of children so that they grow up as fully realized and complete persons, then the

process of education must not be set in a context of competition and thus stress. This emotionally scars any human


282 June Auty Back to signature list

I believe it is important for young people to learn the art of social interation. For many children the first broad experience

learning how to respect themselves and others is during the first years at school. Many may live in an envioroment

where this has been part of their life experience, this is not the case for the majority We could be without intention

creating anxiety and fear in young people, we know and have more understaning that this can lead to bullying and

aggressive behaviour!!

281 Jacque Scott Back to signature list

Easy..look at the country’s that are doing better than this one!!

271 Olive Hickmott Back to signature list

Surely at 5 years old the education system should be involved in teaching children how to learn, not proving they can or


267 Simon Charter Back to signature list

None of my children learnt to read before 6, the eldest is studying medicine the second is studying fine art and the third

is running a business employing 20 people at the age of 21.

I am convinced that play and healthy household activities learnt by imitation is the best education at this age. Academic

work too early can prevent other faculties developing.I suspect these league tables will promote academic work and

hence could encourage a one sided development of the child

266 Peter Reeve Back to signature list

I am father to four grown children. For almost 40 years I have taught primary school age children. The inevitable result of

making public comparisons of childcare settings is that it will make providers nervous. Infants will be allowed to play less

PETITION: Stop school league tables for five year olds Page 32

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and consequently this will impair children’s overall development. I am certain of it.

261 Dawn Dunlop Back to signature list

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. ~Chinese Proverb

Targets on 5 year olds (and older but that’s another story) benefit who exactly? Certainly not the child, let learning be fun

and enjoyable, why do we feel the need to have all our children be the same – let them be who they want to be and

follow their own dreams in life.

I fully support this petition as a mother of a 5 year old girl, and for all the 5 year olds that will enter the education system

one day.

253 ken watson Back to signature list

let’s keep children free from premature ‘ageing’.

248 Rebecca Whittaker Back to signature list

More unnecessary bureacracy and money wasting. Let young children and the teachers be free to learn and grow at

their own pce without the nonsensical pressure that school league tables create for teachers, children, head teachers

and parents.

243 Yvan Rioux Back to signature list

This will give a biased, over-academic view of a school.

236 Andrea Flack Back to signature list

Let’s educate not calculate

234 Akasha Lonsdale Back to signature list

As a psychotherapist I very much oppose this idea.

233 Gillian Bathe Back to signature list

This plan takes the teacher’s attention away from the delicate process of matching individual learning needs/capabilities.

Thus it is destructive both to the child’s perception of learning and the teacher’s capability to do the best for every child

in the class.

230 Gabriel Millar Back to signature list

The English, historically, have shown their dislike of children per se, insisting that they behave like mini-adults. This

manifests now as undue pressure at school to make them perform.

229 CHRIS UPTON Back to signature list

This policy would be detrimental to the development of young childeren. Play in itself without the pressure for the need

to perform is essential. You must find another way assessing this cohort or just accept that they diserve to be allowed to

be children for a little longer.

227 Christine Polyblank Back to signature list

PETITION: Stop school league tables for five year olds Page 33

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Having taught children for many years I am utterly against this pointless, damaging and most unwise plan. Ignorance of

the nature of education and of childhood all too clearly lie behind this.

221 Wendy Harvey Back to signature list

I strongly believe that league tables and SATs tests for children creates unnecessary stress in the learning environment

for both children and teachers and leads to an impoverished teaching style of ‘teaching to the test’ instead of nurturing

and stimulating children’s natural curiosity and joy of learning.

220 Trevor Bentley Back to signature list

I suggest we introduce league tables for MPs in respect to attendance in the House, speeches, etc. and that all MPs

should have an annual Current Affairs test.

217 Susan Reid Back to signature list

I am a teacher and a parent and have experience of schooling in 3 countries. Please dont make things more stressful for

school kids- they naturally want to learn and pressure kills that ever so quickly! Teachers, carers and parents have a

hard job, and I do believe you get a better result from them if you offer support rather than crazy testing.

214 CATHARINE DEAM Back to signature list

My children went to a Steiner school and I taught at one. After a good kindergarten, they started formal education at 6

(not 4), at 8,years, their standard was comparable to those in state education and they enjoyed school, with its broad

curriculum including arts, drama and music. They were not tested at any time. Steiner schools have excellent Ofsted

reports without league table statistics. Please do NOT load our young ones with these harmful practices.

212 ian perry Back to signature list

what are you doing? did you have a bad time at school and want everybody else to suffer too? the current education

system is really messed up. we need to go back to where we were 30 years ago and stop messing with something that

worked quite well

210 Jo Armistead Back to signature list

I oppose publishing information re progress made by 5 year olds. It is ethically wrong and an infringement of their

personal freedom. Do they consent to their assessments? The valididity and reliability of the EYFS profile is not secure –

the many influences on children’s attainment at this age render the ‘test’ untrustworthy (Field, 2010). The damage to

young children and their families in terms of threatening the relationship with trusted early years professionals could be

catastrophic (Ibid).

202 Kathryn Glynn Back to signature list

It is beginning to appear that early pressure to read and write is actually having a negative affect on young children’s

abilities in these areas in later life, as some are not developmentally ready. Children outside the school system who

have been alllowed to learn to read in their own natural time, often being at 7 or sometimes older, stay avid readers into

adulthood, with subsequent wide learning. Parents can choose schools on better premises than league tables.

198 Iris Harrison Back to signature list

To cope with a rapidly changing world our children need problem solving skills.

192 Naznin Davdani Back to signature list

PETITION: Stop school league tables for five year olds Page 34

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Please please, in the name of The Most High, leave the small children to play, explore, enjoy and BREATHE!!

189 Grethe Hooper Hansen Back to signature list

To teach chldren cognitive skills at this early age before the left hemisphere is active (age 7) is to overlay the vital

sub-cortical processes that form the basis of ‘mind’. You are literally destroying the minds of children. To encourage

parents to think is this direction is close to criminal.

183 Marie Vijendran Back to signature list

All research indicates that such a measure is counter to creating the best environment for children to thrive. By this I

mean the last thing children need especially at a young age are targets and measurement. Children absolutely need to

be able to develop skills at their own pace in order to put them to best use.

Frankly this only helps me feel relief that my British children are not part of the British school system.

179 Karen Rodgers Back to signature list

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, parents can be expected to be the best judges and champions of their

children; it is *parents* who need to form their own independent view as to the suitability of a particular provision for their

own child. The kind of government interference in early years provision proposed (and monitoring of this kind is very

marked interference) is destructive of parental confidence , of relationships,of the kind of relaxed atmosphere which

childen need to thrive.

163 Helen Tweedale Back to signature list

Shameful,ridiculous and potentially very damaging !

155 Sue Gerrard Back to signature list

Schools can already provide detailed information to parents about their child’s progress. League tables for five year-olds

will take no account of the very wide developmental range of shown by children in this age group and will be positively

misleading for parents.

152 Sarah Newman Back to signature list

I’m signing in the hope that the government will use their time more wisely and leave the Uk’s 5 year olds to play and

discover the world in their own time.

148 Wendy Dale Back to signature list

Think it it ridiculous that there is consideration for starting league tables for under 5’s. These should be abolished.

147 Sophie Paine Back to signature list

I know many parents who’s children, especially boys, have been turned off learning because they have been pushed too

hard at school from too young because of state imposed targets.

I want my children to learn without even realising they are learning in a relaxed environment without being made aware

of how they compare to others. This proposal means education in this country is going to take a great big step

backwards. Pressure is no way to improve education – for anyone.

145 Maria Zech Back to signature list

PETITION: Stop school league tables for five year olds Page 35

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I am Dutch, grew up in Holland and started learning to read & write from age 6. I learned this within 2 years, by the time I

was 7 I was reading fluently. My daughter, having grown up in the British school system, started to read fluently by age

7, despite having had literacy lessons from age 2 1/2. Anecdotal evidence that the ideal age to start learning to read &

wrote is around 6/7. Leagues tables will only augment the worst aspects of the British system, rather than improve it in

my opinion.

142 Jean Evans Back to signature list

Apart from the harm which will be brought about, this is a complete turn-about by the Government on its election

promises to cease top-down interference in affairs which should be governed by the informed judgement of those who

are close to children as parents and as qualified educators. This is unwonted pressure which will skew early years

teaching and label children at a time when they are in the process of development and their abilities are changing day by


138 Norman Voake Back to signature list

As a retired teacher with over 4o years experience I deplore the categorising and testing of children at an early age

when they should be developing the skills comensurate with their development as young children. We should not be

training them for immediate adulthood but rather allowing them to develop their imaginative powers

123 E Hampton Back to signature list

Stupid idea. Other league tables haven’t worked so why keep flogging it.

122 Kate Davies Back to signature list

This would be unecessary and inflict yet more stresses on the youngest school children and their teachers. Schooling

should be more about how happy they are rather than the results achieved in such marginal objectives.

115 Sheila Phillips Back to signature list

Children and teachers are under more than enough pressure to ‘perform’ already and this proposal will needlessly add

to that.

My husband and I are very seriously considering home educating our child due to the culture of testing/achieving the

‘right’ level in UK schools.

In my opinion, performance tables don’t reveal anything, apart from how well the children have been drilled in sitting

tests, so I believe that they don’t give a clear reflection of what a school is like anyway.

114 James Lothian Back to signature list

These are 5 year olds, we push our children harder and earlier than any other european nation.Why are results so much

worse than the countries that look at starting literacy at age 7 or 8, such as Sweden and Finland. For a children to learn,

they need emotional readiness, interest and a adult to child ratio of 10 or less. I wonder how many extra teachers and

classroom assistant we could provide if we measure less. I would like to see the league table of bureaucracy cost vs

educational cost

112 David Macgregor Back to signature list

…ridiculous dilletantist nonsense: children should not even be at school at five; what preposterous stupidity!…

111 L Plant Back to signature list

Successive UK governments fail to have any understanding of child development. It is embarrassing to have to petition

PETITION: Stop school league tables for five year olds Page 36

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a government that ought to know better. Maybe MPs ought to have league tables drawn up for their knowledge on

particular subject areas e.g. child development, cognitive science etc. I’m sure most would fail and this is why they

come up with such ridiculous ideas that we have to petition against! Politics should be left out of education and child


110 Vera Lothian Back to signature list

It is absurd to put this amount of pressure on children. Please take a look at the top 10 countries with regards to

education what do they have in common? children need to be children it has far greater benefits to their development

than sitting in a boring school with a boring teacher forced to socialise with people all of their own age. its unnatural and

not logical.

105 Judith Da Silva Back to signature list

Over almost a century of practical experience world-wide, has constantly proven that children up to the age of approx.

seven years, do their most permanent and stress-free learning through a form of ‘osmosis’ which is neither conscious

nor intellectual and is driven by an innate gift or need to copy. To force brain-driven learning is permanently damaging

to physical and psychological health. British children, future adults will form a society stunted in imaginative,

spontaneous creativity.

103 Sarah Price Back to signature list

This will put a lot of pressure on boys and probably have severe effects on their later behaviour and development.Please

think again.

101 Eloise Barkway Back to signature list

Its puts undue pressure on such young children and their parents.

97 JACQUI FERGUSON Back to signature list

There is so much research that states it is harmful to push young children into ways of thinking prematurely. Education

should never be subject to political point scoring. Our children are precious and should not be the quarry of those

seeking power.

96 Rachel Nguyen Back to signature list

I am totally opposed to testing children so young. I do not agree with the testing of 7 year olds let alone this.

Children should be children and their work should be play not having their little minds crammed with words and

numbers, they have years to learn. It is no wonder many are tired of school by age 11.

There is no evidence this helps anyone and it should not be started.

90 Kerris Casey-St.Pierre Back to signature list

This is riduculous. Children are under enough pressure as it is. 5 year old should be able to play and learn without any

pressure to achieve. This proposal will leave teachers under pressure to meet standards and children under pressure to

perform. Don’t do it!

85 Russell Evans Back to signature list

Don’t take childhood away from Children.These are the years where rich imagination develops,and creative play is a key

PETITION: Stop school league tables for five year olds Page 37

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to developing speech and social skills.The tyranny of measurement must not infringe the inner unfolding of the individual


81 Anne Koerber Back to signature list

Children of 5 should be playing, gaining physical dexterity and social skills. By the time they are 7 they are ready and

want to read. There is plenty of learning outside of books. Reading too early discourages other activities. 2 of my 4

children only learnt to read at 8/9 and 10 respectively and are both now in very responsible, high level jobs. The

younger daughter would have been totally crushed and humiliated by not being able to read at 5 which would have

unfitted her for future life.

80 Rosaleen Carter Back to signature list

Please don’t allow this, 5 year olds should NOT be pushed at this age, and pressure on teachers to ‘get’ grades from

their pupils will only result in children being pushed forward when they are not ready. Children should learn at their OWN


78 Stuart Marshall Back to signature list

It’s just unbelievable that teachers are being asked to try to get this intrusive information back off and let them teach.

This is one of the reasons we now home educate

76 Colette Murphy Back to signature list

Let children be children, that is what a lot of the problems are, children are being made to grow up too quickly and are

being “educated” to reach targets not for life.

75 Geraldine Homewood Back to signature list

Parents should not be choosing schools by league tables as they do not reflect the individual needs of children. No

children should undo assessments in primary school.

65 Anne Brown Back to signature list

Children are not machines. They develop at different speeds, and children tested at ‘age 5’ ie in the summer of reception

year may be just 5 or almost 5. This makes a big difference to a child this age, and makes tests meaningless.

60 Melanie Hutchinson Back to signature list

why is tjere this endless need to evaluate! especially 5 yr olds who actually oughtto be at home not school!

55 suzanne hanson Back to signature list

please let children be children they grow up so fast

52 wendy holdstock Back to signature list

This kind of targetting is harmful to the children, teachers and parents in their perception of the developing child. It

should have no place in Early Years education. People who require this do not trust the teachers and do not understand

the complexities of Early Years education, which should provide the foundations for educating free thinking adults

51 Judi Wilson Back to signature list

PETITION: Stop school league tables for five year olds Page 38

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League tables are counterproductive & meaningless. They create unnecessary pressure on teachers and headteachers,

and obstruct the process of children learning and developing at their own rate. Tables encourage a culture of teaching

to the test. In other European countries children are not even in an institution at age 3/4/5 years: they are learning

through playing, usually in their own families and community networks. Parents are the best carers and teachers of their

children, not the state.

50 Frank Mulder Back to signature list

To make kindergarten about the performance of 5 year olds would clearly be a step back in education.

49 Jacqui Futers Back to signature list

Please let children, be children!

47 Sarah Stagles Back to signature list

I believe that publication of the results of our five year old children will lead to pressure being put on children who should

be being nurtured to grow into happy, childlike inquisitive beings.

Soon childhood will be completely lost.

46 Jill Anderson Back to signature list

Children are not arrows to be fired at targets. They need to be allowed to grow and develop in their own time. This will

label children and schools as failing when children are not ready for the production-line of schooling.

45 Emma Whitford Back to signature list

Please leave children to be children and not have this pressure to perform and learn things before they are ready.

44 Sara Sengenberger Back to signature list

I am shocked that consideration is being given to publishing league tables based on the performance of very young

children. This will inevitably lead to increased pressure on children at a vulnerable age and will make it harder for

schools to allow children to learn at their own pace.

39 Sara Banner Back to signature list

There is a ridiculous amount of pressure put on school children in this country by over testing. What do the government

possibly hope to achieve by testing 5 year olds – a huge amount of very young children worried about going to school?

35 Janet Coles Back to signature list

This proposal is a shocking betrayal of the future generations right to be allowed to develop at their own pace free of

pressure to perform in an ever increasing competitive environment. It will quite possibly lead to mental health problems

and further underachievement, especially in boys, in their later years.

22 Susan Howard Back to signature list

League tables do not serve their intended purpose; stopping them will give children, teachers and parents more space to

engage in real learning and development.

18 Sally Goddard Blythe Back to signature list

PETITION: Stop school league tables for five year olds Page 39

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Developmental readiness for formal education not the achievement of targets at 5 years is one of the most important

determinants of educational success. Focus on cognitive measures at the expense of developing physical readiness will

underimine children’s progress. It should also be noted that boys naturally tend to be developmentally later than girls in

developing fine motor and linguistic skills in the early years and are placed at a disadvantage if assessed too early.

16 Sue Palmer Back to signature list

As a literacy specialist, I’ve watched the effects of published league tables on the ethos of primary education. All too

often it leads to teaching to the test, narrowing of the curriculum and — when test results assume such significance for

their teachers — unnecessary pressure on the children. And England’s steady decline in international literacy

league-tables suggest it doesn’t improve results anyway. So it’s madness to apply the technique to even younger

children. Madness.

13 Andrzej Kowalik Back to signature list

Our kids are our investment, we are supposed to love them, not treat like employees.

7 margaret morrissey Back to signature list

My 2011 mission as it has been since League Tables began is to end them they mean nothing stress children, parents &

teachers . They narrow the curriculum and take the joy out of learning for our children especially the very smallest who

are in school far to young.

5 Sarah Fox Back to signature list

Children are far too young at this stage to be under pressure in this way. Teachers should be allowed to prioritise their

well being and allow them to settle into a school with confidence. The priority should be on the needs of each child not

their ability en-masse to meet a preset ‘target’ asap.

2 Margaret Edgington Back to signature list

I fully support this petition as I strongly believe that no comparisons should be made between such young children.Each

child should be supported along his or her own unique developmental pathway without pressure and without fear of



One response to this post.

  1. […] Quotes « Stop School League Tables for Five Year Olds International Petition Day Eleven. […]


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