Next year’s Standard Assessment Tests (SATS) in schools
may not take place after a vote by the biggest teachers union to
ballot members on a boycott.
The National Union of Teachers voted at its annual conference to
take the action because many teachers believe the tests at age 7,
11 and 14 put children under such relentless pressure they are
turned off school altogether. Critics also say the tests brand
children as academic failures from a young age.
Union leaders expect a ballot to be held late this year or early
next, and predict overwhelming support for the boycott from
The NUT conference also voted to ballot members on refusing to
take classes of more than 27 pupils, even if it means sending
children home. The motion was opposed by the union’s
executive on the grounds that such action would alienate