Teachers to boycott primary school tests

Primary tests

As annual conference season approaches for the teaching unions, a number of teaching unions are expected to vote for a boycott of primary level Sats tests.

Submitted by Choccy on April 6, 2009

National Union of Teachers (NUT) and National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) are both expected to get overwhelming 'yes' votes when they push for a boycott of the primary level version of the Sats tests. Sats tests are used for 11 yr olds at the end of primary school, and until 2008, for14 yr olds at the end of the secondary Key Stage 3 phase.

Sats tests have always been controversial, with the head of the Qualification and Curriculum Authority having resigned last year over the shoddy handling of Sats marking by ETS Europe, a private firm, which resulted in prolonged stress for pupils through delaying of marks. Following this, Key Stage 3 Sats were abolished.

Many teachers feel that 'teaching to the test' has undermined any efforts to promote understanding and enjoyment of the subjects studied, and places unreasonable amounts of pressure on children, and on teachers through school league tables. The prescriptive nature of such testing has left even less room in an already crowded curriculum to do practical, interactive or hands-on work across a variety of subjects.

The expected boycott will cause havoc for the league tables, though many teachers think league tables should have been scrapped long ago. NAHT represent 28,000 members, while NUT represents almost 300,000 teachers. The unions are expected to acheive 'yes' votes in support of the proposed boycott at their annual conferences later this month.


Caiman del Barrio

15 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on April 17, 2009

Is NASUWT really right wing or something? No knowledge of this at all...


15 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on April 17, 2009

The report I read about this, which I think was in the Metro, had that as a headline, but reading it more closely what they actually said was they would take industrial action if Sats were replaced by a scheme which meant primary school teachers had to do a lot of extra work testing themselves.

It looked like the article was deliberately trying to play up division over the Sats issue - NASUWT is more right-wing generally than the NUT, but I did think they were opposed to Sats as well


15 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Choccy on April 17, 2009

I don't know what report you read, i'd be curious though.
The Independent one only says they 'think' they'll have a bigger workload, which is surprising given that there hasn't been many complaints from KS3 teachers since they were scrapped for 14yr olds last year.
Same article also has comments from NASUWT members that think Sats provided a handy assessment tool, an opinion most teachers strongly refute.