Teachers threaten boycott of all primary tests.


The move risks creating yet more chaos in primary classrooms as teachers voted 96 per cent in favour of a motion raising the prospect of a national boycott of all tests at primary level. It comes despite ministers conceding ground to the unions by pledging to scrap the hugely unpopular key stage 1 sats taken by six and seven year olds.

Proposing the motion at the ATL annual conference in Liverpool, member Jean Roberts said the profession should make its voice heard against “endless testing”.

“A successful boycott if agreed, it needs teachers, headteachers and parents supporting it,” Ms Roberts said. “The time has passed for moaning about the tests. The time has come to put the nail in the coffin of testing. Our children deserve better.”

Michael Catty, an ATL member from Hertfordshire, described education in England being in a “pit that will get deeper and deeper”. “It has been dug by the twin evils of testing and league tables,”

Any plans for a national boycott is likely to require backing from both the NUT and NAHT. However, any potential boycott is unlikely to be held until 2018 or even 2019.

The call for a possible boycott is likely to anger ministers as it comes less than two weeks after Education Secretary Justine Greening signalled she would drop key stage 1 tests in favour of a baseline assessment that will be administered to children in Reception.


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