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."

News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
news

As anti-Semitic attacks rise, Grant Feller re-evaluates his identity

Life and Style
food and drink

Savoury patisserie is a thing now

News
news

Meet the primary school where every day is National Poetry Day

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
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
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
people
News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Life and Style
fashionThe Secret Angels all take home huge sums - but who earns the most?
Sport
football

Striker ignored Brendan Rodger's request to applaud audience

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
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

Secondary teachers required in King's Lynn

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary teachers re...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Room Leader PositionI am currently ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery NurseI am currently...

Nursery Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Breakfast and after school club wor...

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?