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Teachers boycott pupil tests

PUBLISHED: 17:25 14 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:56 25 August 2010

HUNDREDS of children have missed their Sats this week as teachers boycotted the tests for 11-year-olds.

HUNDREDS of children have missed their Sats this week as teachers boycotted the tests for 11-year-olds.

Bexley council said up to 14 schools were affected by the industrial action, supported by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), the aim of which is to scupper the primary school league tables.

Around 600,000 10 and 11-year-olds were due to take Sats this week with reading tests on Monday, followed by writing and spelling and then maths exams on Wednesday and today.

A spokesperson for Bexley council said: "Up to 14 primary schools out of the 53 in the borough of Bexley have indicated that they may boycott the Sats tests. However it will not be clear until after the tests actually take place whether of not they have definitely taken part in the boycott and this figure could decrease.

"This is a boycott by staff, not schools and as such those affected may be covered other ways for example by head teachers and deputies."

NUT representative, Auriel Downs, 52, said the tests were detrimental to children's education.

She said: "Year 6 is very pressurised. It is very stressful for them. The children worry about whether they will do well or not. The whole time is spent doing tests. It is not an education.

"We want there to be a change in how we are assessing children, possibly by making it more teacher-led."

The boycott was confirmed by the NUT and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) last month after leading members balloted in support of the action. However the union left it to individual heads, deputies and assistant heads to opt in or out.

The unions insisted that the boycott is industrial action with no downside, as children would still be attending schools and taking part in lessons.

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