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Teachers threaten Sats boycott.

Summary: Teachers are threatening to boycott next year's national Sats tests in primary schools.

Teachers are threatening to boycott next year's national Sats tests in primary schools.

The move comes after union leaders said continuing the tests beyond this year is "unacceptable".

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) will put to their members identical resolutions calling for a boycott at their annual conferences this spring.

Sats tests for 14-year-olds were scrapped by Schools Secretary Ed Balls in October following last summer's fiasco which saw more than a million children face delays getting their results.

But there is widespread anger among heads and teachers that the tests, in English, maths and science, have not been abolished in primary schools.

Last month the NAHT and NUT held a joint conference calling for Sats tests for seven and 11-year-olds (Key Stages 1 and 2) and league tables to be scrapped.

It said this year's exams, which are taken in May, should be voluntary and that standards in the three core subjects should be measured through teacher assessment.

NAHT general secretary Mick Brookes said: "What we are saying is we've taken the case to the Government, we think we've made the case, we've got most of the education community making the case with us, including governors and a considerable number of parents.

"We are not getting the message back we thought we would be getting about progress in changing Key Stage 2 tests in the near future."

NUT acting general secretary Christine Blower said: "It is particularly unfair and unjust that the Government wants primary schools to continue with the very tests that it has decided to drop in secondary schools.

"Our deadline for the end of Sats of 2010 is reasonable and our alternative is one which will enhance teaching and learning."

A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said that any attempt to boycott the tests would risk "removing a basic right" of parents to see how their children and local schools were performing.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Mar 27, 2009
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