School heads receive Sats ballot forms
Teachers and heads across England will begin receiving ballot papers this week as a campaign to scrap Sats tests gathers pace.
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) are holding an indicative ballot of members over proposals to boycott next year's tests.
At a conference later today the two unions will give details of the next stage of their campaign to end the tests.
The two unions passed resolutions at their annual conferences earlier this year, proposing to take joint action to boycott the tests if they are not scrapped.
Between them, the two unions represent a large proportion of teaching staff in primary schools.
Under the indicative ballot, 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.
NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: "This is our opportunity to find out how members really do feel about the Sats."
She added: "Whenever I bump into primary teachers they say 'I really hope there aren't going to be Sats next year."'
She said the campaign was not about schools and teachers not being held accountable, but making sure they are accountable on a proper basis.
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.
A petition against the tests, set up by the two unions, already has tens of thousands of signatures.
On Friday Gordon Brown said Sats tests are as important as GCSEs or A-levels in holding schools to account.
Writing in the Times Educational Supplement (TES) the Prime Minister said: "I'm not willing to accept excuses for underperformance.
"Every schools should be doing the best by all its pupils. But progress relies on the need to retain clear accountability through testing.
"This means at the end of primary school as much as at the end of secondary."
Schools Minister Vernon Coaker said: "A boycott of statutory tests would be disruptive to pupils and risk doing real damage to the standing of the profession. It is out of step with what parents want; not backed by other teaching unions; and would be a clear breach of heads' statutory duties if the tests do not go ahead.
"NUT and NAHT should reflect on all of our reforms before continuing with their proposed action - replacing externally marked Key Stage 3 tests and Key Stage 2 science with teacher assessment; trialling when ready testing; and piloting report cards to give a much broader picture of schools' performance.
"It's time to challenge the myth that children spend all of their school days preparing for the tests - from next year, children will do just two externally marked tests before they are 14. We've made it repeatedly clear that drilling with practice test papers is wrong. Excellent teaching throughout the year is improving pupils' reading, writing and maths skills and is the best preparation for tests.
"Our expert group on assessment concluded that scrapping externally marked English and maths tests was the wrong approach. It categorically said current English and maths tests are educationally beneficial; vital for public accountability; and a key part of giving parents objective information on their children's progress after seven years in publicly funded education."
As anti-Semitic attacks rise, Grant Feller re-evaluates his identity
Savoury patisserie is a thing now
Meet the primary school where every day is National Poetry Day
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
Striker ignored Brendan Rodger's request to applaud audience
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Jennifer Lawrence nude photos leak: More celebrities allegedly targeted as third wave of hacked images released
Cheryl Cole named 'the most dangerous celebrity' on the internet
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
- < Previous
- Next >
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary teachers re...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Room Leader PositionI am currently ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery NurseI am currently...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Breakfast and after school club wor...