'I AM going to completely boycott these tests. I am never doing the SATs in my school again.' That's what Birmingham primary school head teacher Carol Lyndon told Socialist Worker on Monday after her frustration at the government's compulsory tests for school children reached breaking point.
The following day education secretary Charles Clarke wobbled under the pressure of the gathering campaign to scrap the tests. He announced test results for seven year olds will be considered along with teachers' wider assessment. SATs for seven year olds have already been scrapped in Wales.
But tests will remain and results will still be part of drawing up divisive league tables. 'We should take Clarke's announcement as an encouragement to push ahead with the campaign to boycott SATs and scrap them at all stages - seven, 11 and 14,' says Jon Berry from the Hertfordshire association of the NUT, which is campaigning for a boycott.
Carol Lyndon says, 'The problem is with the SATs themselves. I decided to take a stand against the damage these tests do to children. The straw that broke the camel's back was the cock-ups over the tests last week.'
She and her staff discovered the centre pages, listing seven questions, were missing from four of the maths papers sat by children in their last year at Kings Rise Primary.
Private schools are exempt from the tests. Carol Lyndon says, 'The quicker all these tests are abolished in the state sector and we can assess children properly, the sooner we can get back to teaching.'
Conference against SATs for parents, governors and teachers, Saturday 28 June, 11.30am-3.30pm, South Camden School, Charrington Street, London. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details.