Sunday 28 February 2010

New Classroom Teacher out now for March - includes news on SATs boycott

The latest copy of 'Classroom Teacher' (a teacher newsletter that I edit) is now out - copies can be downloaded from the Classroom Teacher website (see link to your right). The Classroom Teacher blog also includes additional posts as well - have a look and send in your views and reports too!

March's Classroom Teacher includes articles on workload and cuts and the following article on the SATs boycott:

SATs boycott - only Heads, Deputies and Assistant Heads to be boycotted
The NUT Executive has confirmed that only Headteachers, Deputy and Assistant Heads will be included in the ballot on a boycott of the 2010 Key Stage 2 SATs. The NUT and NAHT will both be issuing ballot papers on 15 March, for return by 16 April.

As the February Classroom Teacher reported, this decision has apparently been made following concern that a wider ballot might be challenged in court - particularly in the wake of the injunction against strike action threatened by British Airways staff.

Legal advice suggests that only these post holders have a contractual responsibility for administering SATs. But where does this leave Year 6 teachers who want to boycott the grinding preparation for these tests?

The NUT promises that further advice will be issued for classroom teachers but, without a ballot, how many will feel confident to refuse when their Head instructs them to prepare their classes for the tests? Unfortunately, it is another example of the lack of a clear strategy. Strong guidance supporting Year 6 staff in resisting SATs preparation should have been issued at the start of September!

Nevertheless, it is vital that staff encourage those being balloted to support a boycott. SATs are a key part of the bullying regime that unfairly compares - and condemns - so many staff, children and schools. Heads need to stand up to the pressure put on them by Government and Councils and support a boycott.

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