Teachers risk their wages over boycott

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The Independent Online

Teachers face having their pay docked if they go ahead with a boycott of national curriculum tests for 1.2 million pupils aged 7 and 11, their employers warned yesterday.

Leaders of England's local education authorities said they would consider seeking a High Court injunction to stop the boycott. The National Union of Teachers 42-strong' executive voted unanimously to ballot on a boycott of next year's English, maths and science tests for primary school children, saying they were too stressful.

Graham Lane, chairman of the Local Government Association's education committee, said that by refusing to teach the national curriculum teachers could be in breach of contract and their pay could be docked.

He said: "We are not amused at all by the boycott. It is perfectly reasonable to have a proper discussion about improving the assessment of children ­ and that is already taking place ... Are they saying they don't want children tested or assessed?"

He added that there was a question mark over whether the issue was a legitimate trade dispute.