Sexist SATS – how primary assessment is reinforcing gender stereotypes in 2019

I received this email from a Chair of Governors of a London Primary School this week.

No wonder we have issues with girls and STEM if ten year old children are already seeing girls stereotyped as “getting maths wrong” 😦

This should not be happening now in 2019!

How can we get a copy of the test paper?

I’m Chair of Governors of a Primary School and the Head asked me to observe the administration of one of the SATS. So this morning I was there for Mathematics 2. ( I think it is called “Reasoning”).
One question involved a drawing of a child who was making a mathematical statement.  Pupils had to explain why that statement was wrong.
A second question showed a problem accompanied by a drawing of a child giving the answer.  Pupils had to say why that answer was wrong.
 
In both cases the child who was wrong was a girl.  I think there was only one drawing of a boy and that was neutral.  (e.g. John has £10. He spends  etc.) Every state school year six child in England, who sat that paper this morning, saw the stereotype of girls who can’t do maths.
I have asked my Head to complain, if Heads are given that opportunity, and I am working out to whom I should write.
Obviously I don’t have the paper, as all spare copies have to be accounted for, but if what I am saying can be verified, it would be terrific if the Academic Maths and Computing Community “kicked up a fuss”.

One comment

  1. I agree but unfortunately we have the other side of *techmums* how about just women
    returners? As not all women are mums and so don’t have the same access to high profile pathways.

    Why do we have to be Ms not Miss? or say we are married.

    How do boys/men feel about the stereotypes.

    I don’t feel you can remove one stereotype without recognising we miss the opportunity to just be celebrated as an individual.

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