MEMBERS OF the NUT, the biggest teachers' union, have sent a clear message to their leadership about the national testing of seven, 11 and 14 year olds, known as SATs tests. A survey of all members came out in favour of a boycott of these tests. Most teachers believe that the tests undermine their professional judgement.
Practically none of the NUT members believe that SATs tests are of any benefit to children's learning. And crucially, very few of those surveyed believed that the NUT should wait for other teachers' unions to get on board before starting action.
The NUT executive meets on 6 November to decide its next move. There is nervousness about whether New Labour would launch a court challenge against a boycott of the tests. It's up to parents, teachers and governors to make sure that the NUT leadership knows the strength of feeling.
The Anti-SATs Alliance has been organising petitions, street stalls and public meetings. Now it is time for anyone who has been involved in this activity to let NUT leader Doug McAvoy and the National Executive know that we want to stand firm.
There is no doubt that taking on Blair over his education 'project' is a massive undertaking. But with the groundswell of opinion against SATs there's no reason why we shouldn't do so-and win!
Send news of anti-SATs activities to Doug McAvoy at NUT, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD. For information about the Anti-SATs Alliance go to www.stopthesats.plus.com