Teachers may face legal action if tests boycott goes ahead
Heads and teachers may face legal action after deciding to go ahead with their boycott of national curriculum tests for 11-year-olds next month.
Leaders of both the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) decided yesterday to boycott the tests – due to be taken by 600,000 pupils in English and maths in the week beginning 10 May.
That followed ballot results in favour of a boycott declared last Friday. The NUT voted 76 per cent in favour, while the NAHT was 61 per cent. The action will mean heads refusing to open the test papers when they are sent to schools and will present the incoming government with its first industrial-relations headache.
The unions are angry that league tables mean too much time is spent teaching to the test – and that schools which do badly are pilloried.
"We cannot continue to have our colleagues in the primary sector disparaged on the basis of a flawed testing regime," said Mick Brookes, general secretary of the NAHT.
The Schools Secretary Ed Balls said his department would be discussing the next step with school governors and local authority representatives. It could fall upon the employers to initiate legal action. "It's not just that heads have a statutory duty to oversee tests – they have a professional and moral duty to put the best interests of pupils first," said Mr Balls.
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Germanwings crash: Captain of doomed plane was only 'on board because he changed job to spend more time with his children'
Iran nuclear talks: Prospect of deal with Iran pushes Saudi Arabia and Israel into an unlikely alliance
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 5 Modern society encapsulated in five seconds
£25,880 – £28,610 per annum: Imperial College London: Imperial College London ...
£26,976 - £31,614 per annum: University College London: UCL Information Servic...
£30 - 32k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking an Instructional / e-Learning De...
£30500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Schools Education & Careers Executive ...