A primary school in Southend has been warned that Ofsted and the Department of Education will be applying the ‘strongest possible sanctions’ after the headteacher decided to SCRAP the controversial SATS exams for their 7-year-old pupils this year. Instead of the government-issued assessments, children will be shown articles from Southend News Network and asked if they think that what they are reading is real or not.

Two Tree Island Primary Academy head Dr Marshall Mallows said: ‘Our children are under enough stress with the pace of modern school life, and this year’s SATS exams were a step too far for them – therefore I have taken the decision to cancel them and I am prepared to face whatever consequences are thrown at me. A few parents threatened to take their children away from school for a strike day, and so I knew that it was time to act as our attendance figures are even more critical than our SATS assessment levels. More schools should try and follow our example on this issue, and it feels incredibly liberating to tell the government where to shove it!’

Dr Mallows added: ‘We have come up with our own incredibly effective intelligence test which we will run while the rest of the UK’s children are opening their exam papers. We have printed off a selection of stories from Southend News Network, and the children will need to figure out if they are true or not. In this country, there are 40-year-old men who don’t understand the meaning of the tagline ‘the latest news from Southend, honest,’ so if any of our kids can figure it all out they have a bright future ahead of them.’