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Teachers' boycott of tests hits six schools

PUBLISHED: 10:27 20 May 2010 | UPDATED: 10:13 12 August 2010

HUNDREDS of children missed their Sats as teachers boycotted the tests for 11-year-olds. Bromley council said six schools were affected by the industrial action, supported by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), which aims to scupper the primary school

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

Bromley council said six schools were affected by the industrial action, supported by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), which aims to scupper the primary school league tables.

About 600,000 pupils aged 10 and 11 throughout the country were due to take Sats with reading tests on May 10, followed by writing and spelling and then maths exams last Wednesday and Thursday.

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

She added: "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 union left it to individual heads, deputies and assistant heads to opt in or out of the industrial action.

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

A spokesperson for Bromley council said: "We recognise the commitment, professionalism and hard work headteachers and teaching staff have shown in rising to the challenges of implementing the National Curriculum.

"While the council understands and respects the concerns of headteachers, deputy headteachers and assistant headteachers, it is disappointed that the NAHT [National Association of Head Teachers] and NUT have decided to take this inappropriate course of action at the potential expense of pupils and their parents.

"Bromley council has advised its schools that it expects staff to fulfil their responsibilities to administer the tests."

The affected schools were Crofton Junior, in Towncourt Lane Petts Wood; Midfield Primary, in Grovelands Road, Orpington; Oak Lodge Primary, in Chamberlain Crescent, West Wickham; Pickhurst Junior, in Pickhurst Lane, West Wickham; Southborough Primary, in Southborough Lane, Bromley; and Tubbenden Primary, in Sandy Bury, Orpington.

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