Heads call for boycott

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The Independent Online
School governors could face legal action as a result of a campaign by headteachers against league tables for 11-year-olds, it emerged last night.

The National Association of Head Teachers has called on governing bodies not to pass on this year's test results for use in league tables. Its general secretary, David Hart, said ministers had broken a promise not to publish tables until after the tests had been carried out for a third time next year. He described the decision to issue this year's marks next spring as political and claimed that the tests had not had enough time to settle in.

Primary schools in England would be castigated for poor performance unnecessarily, he said, while ministers in Wales had decided to stick to their original decision not to publish this year. Mr Hart wants schools to carry out the tests and to pass on their results to parents but not to the Government. Headteachers would jeopardise their jobs if they refused to carry out their duties but governors were in a stronger position, he said. Although they would be breaking the law, he hoped neither ministers nor parents would take them to court.

The association, which represents heads in the majority of the 14,000 schools affected by the tests, has advised its members to ask their governing bodies to boycott the league tables.

The National Governors' Council said only some governing bodies would take action.Pat Petch, chairman, said: "Others will weigh this very carefully in the balance and decide that they have to comply with the law."

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