25,000 back call to scrap Sats

More than 25,000 people have signed a petition calling for the end of Sats, it was announced today, as industrial action over the tests moved a step closer.

The petition urges the Government to abolish national curriculum tests, known as Sats, for seven and 11-year-olds in England.



Tens of thousands of teachers and head teachers will begin receiving ballot papers asking for their opinion on the tests this week.



The National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) are holding an indicative ballots and surveys of members over proposals to boycott next year's tests.



The two unions passed resolutions at their annual conferences earlier this year proposing to take joint action to boycott if the tests are not scrapped.



Between them, the two unions represent a large proportion of teaching staff in primary schools.



At a conference in central London today, NUT general secretary Christine Blower made it clear that the union was not proposing strike action.



Instead, if a full ballot is passed, members would refuse to play any role in administering or delivering the tests.



"If both ourselves and the NAHT were determined, and we hadn't got sufficient change, it would be impossible for the tests to be administered," she said.



"Between us we have the vast majority of teachers and school leaders in our membership."



Under the indicative ballot, NUT members will be asked if they would show support for a boycott if a solution is not found. A full ballot would still be taken at a later date, expected to be next Spring.



The NAHT are conducting a survey of their members, which would also be followed by a full ballot later on.



The two unions want to see Sats replaced by teacher assessment.



They argue the tests are bad for children, teachers and education, and cause unnecessary stress.



NAHT general secretary Mick Brookes today said that the tests narrow the curriculum for pupils, and rejected suggestions by the Schools Secretary Ed Balls that teachers should not rehearse children for the tests.



"That is like telling an Olympic high jumper not to practice before the Olympics."



Mr Brookes added that any boycott next May is likely to coincide with a general election.



"Who are we going to be up against with this? Michael Gove (the shadow school secretary) has already suggested he doesn't want Sats in Year 6, it would be difficult for him to complain if we don't do them."

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
News
Jennifer Lawrence at the Vanity Fair Academy Awards party in February 2014
people12 undisclosed female victims are seeking $100m in damages
Arts and Entertainment
Adam Levine plays a butcher who obsessively stalks a woman in Maroon 5's 'Animals' music video
music'Animals' video 'promotes sexual violence against women'
News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
voicesI like surprises - that's why I'm bringing them back to politics, writes Nigel Farage
News
Bear and hare woodland scene from John Lewis Christmas advert
newsRetailer breaks with tradition, selling real festive fir trees online for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Horowitz will write the next 007 novel
booksAnthony Horowitz to write new instalment in spy series for 2015
News
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
people
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

Sport
Kicking on: Nathaniel Clyne is relishing the challenge of the Premier League after moving from Crystal Palace
footballSurprises include a first ever call-up for one Southampton star
Voices
4 May 2013: The sun rises over Tower Bridge in London. Temperatures across the UK could be higher than several European holiday destinations by Monday, including parts of Italy and France (Andy Hepburn/PA)
voices
News
The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
Extras
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

English Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: English Teacher required for ...

KS2 Teacher

£90 - £120 per day + tax deductable expenses: Randstad Education Leicester: Ke...

Foundation Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Our client is seeking to app...

Newly Qualified Primary Teacher

£90 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education is the UK...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?