Council aims to break teachers' test boycott

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WANDSWORTH council is to send invigilators into schools to break a teachers' boycott of national tests for pupils aged seven and 14.

The leader of the Conservative- controlled London borough said yesterday that supply teachers and local inspectors will be asked to run the tests in its three secondary schools and 65 primary schools.

Members of the National Union of Teachers voted at their conference in Scarborough to continue their boycott alone. The general secretary, Doug McAvoy, has described the tests as 'educationally flawed'.

Edward Lister, the council leader, said the Government could not afford to back down. 'We are determined that the tests will go ahead and will send in special teams to make sure that they do. They help us to decide where extra resources are needed to raise standards. Boycotts do the teaching profession no good, and the public thinks that teachers are being unreasonable.'

Last year the borough sent local inspectors into its secondary schools, but allowed the boycott to go ahead in primary schools.

Then teachers asked parents to withdraw pupils on the day of the tests. About 20 per cent sat them at Chestnut Grove school and 50 per cent at Ernest Bevin, but most took them at Battersea Technology College.

A borough teacher said yesterday that schools would repeat the tactic.

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