There were graphic accounts of the harm the tests are said to
be causing youngsters, according to the Guardian.
Samantha Nicholson-Hickling, a teacher from Oldham, said she
knew of a pupil who said she developed alopecia from the stress
of sitting tests: “She’s now 22 and has no hair, and attributes
that to taking Sats at age 11.”
Michael Holland, a teacher from Lambeth said:
“[Pupils] talked about Sats in the same way that
characters in Lord of the Rings talk about Sauron and Mordor,
in hushed terrified tones.”
Speaking for the resolution, teacher Benjamin Guy, from
Nottinghamshire, said: “We have been here before, time and time
“We must show the Government and parents that we are willing to
take actual, tangible action to oppose destructive,
fundamentally broken testing.
“The time for consideration is over.
“We have to stand tall and actually produce something to
protect the mental health of our students from the excessive
pressure of these demoralising and destructive Sats tests.”
Plans to scrap Sats for seven-year-olds
It comes just weeks after the Government announced plans to
scrap national curriculum tests for seven-year-olds.
Any vote in favour of the boycott would mirror that of the
Association of Teachers and Lecturers, where members at its
annual conference in Liverpool this month voted for similar
The unions are to merge later this year,
the Press Association reported.
Kevin Courtney, NUT general secretary, said: “What I heard
this morning was teachers giving you their professional
assessment of what the assessment system is doing in schools.
They want a change.
“Many of them also said teachers aren’t against testing – they
were speaking in favour of a positive alternative.
“They were saying a boycott would be a completely defensible,
moral position to take to stop this happening to our children –
and they’re right to think that.”
Last year 47% of primary school pupils in England failed to
meet the new required standard in reading, writing and maths,
Sats data showed.
It would not be the first time pupils have been involved in a
protest against Sats.
Back in 2010 the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT)
joined the NUT in a boycott of primary school testing, after
ballots of their leadership members showed support.
It was down to individual heads, deputies and assistant heads
to decide whether to take part.
Around a quarter of primaries in England were involved in the
action, with tens of thousands of youngsters missing the tests.
Last spring, there was a parent-led campaign to keep children
off school during Sats week, with organisers arguing that there
is more focus on testing, results and league tables than