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RESULT OF UNION BALLOT FOR BOYCOTT OF NATIONAL CURRICULUM TESTS

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Commenting on the outcome of the National Union of Teachers's ballot of its members teaching at Key Stages 1 and 2,...
Commenting on the outcome of the National Union of Teachers's ballot of its members teaching at Key Stages 1 and 2, general secretary Doug McAvoy said:

'Rarely has there been such a large and positive response to a ballot for industrial action.

'Over 35,000 members voted but that is not enough under the union's own stringent rules to sanction a boycott.

'Yet government should be under no illusion that the strength of feeling against tests remains undiminished. The members who voted yes were prepared to take industrial action to end the tests. Those who voted no or failed to vote believe the tests should go.

'The teaching profession remains convinced that the tests constrain their professional judgement and undermine children's learning.

'The NUT will continue to press its concerns about the damaging effects of the tests. It will pursue those concerns in discussions with the other teachers' organisations and in dialogue with government. Early in the new year the NUT will seek the support of parents and governors for its campaign.

'A fundamental independent review of testing as undertaken in Scotland and in place in Wales is the best way forward.

'The NUT is the only organisation, through surveys and ballots, to provide a voice for teachers about the tests.

'The NUT is proud of its record and, on behalf of its members will continue to pursue policies that have at their heart the benefit of children and young people and their education.'

NUT Ballot Result

Number of ballot papers distributed 103,729

Number voting Yes 30,452 (86.2% of valid vote)

Number voting NO 4,875 (13.8% of valid vote)

Total 35,327 (100% of valid vote)

The number of those voting as a percentage of those entitled to vote: 34.05%

The question, which was used in the ballot:

'In order to protest against the extra workload and constraints upon professional judgement imposed by directions to teach for National Curriculum t ests and tasks at Key Stage 1 and National Curriculum tests at Key Stage 2,

are you willing to take action short of strike action by refusing to comply with such directions or undertake work required in consequence of the National Curriculum testing arrangements, including any direction to participate directly in preparation and assessment arrangements for the National Curriculum tests and tasks in your school?'

The relevant union rule is as follows:

a)that the number of those voting in favour of the action is greater than 50 per cent of those eligible to vote in the area(s) or school(s) selected: AND

b) that the number of those voting in favour of the action is at least sixty-six and two thirds per cent of those actually voting.

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