Indicative Ballot to Boycott Primary Assessment
Vote Yes! 4th June to 2nd July
Vote Yes for a balanced curriculum instead of feeling pressured to teach to the test and ignoring wider educational and developmental needs.
Vote Yes to stop ignoring evidence from around the world of better, alternative
Vote Yes for less stress and anxiety for pupils and for fewer systems of assessment.
What is an indicative ballot?
An indicative ballot is an internal union ballot to indicate member support for industrial action before moving to a formal ballot. If successful, we would formally ballot in the autumn term to boycott testing in spring 2020.
When is the ballot?
From Tuesday 4th June to 2nd July.
Who is being balloted?
All primary schools members, including teachers, support staff and leadership members.
How do I vote?
There is an online ballot. Members with a valid email address will receive their ballot by email and will be able to vote via a link in the email. Those without an valid email will receive a letter that will include their link.
What do I do if I have changed email or moved house/school?
Please go to neu.org.uk/myneu. If you update your membership details before 28th June you will receive a new ballot within 72 hours.
What happens if I join the union during the ballot?
If you join before 5pm on 28th June, you will receive a ballot within 72 hours.
What if I haven't received my ballot?
First check your spam/junk folder. Failing that, call 0207 380 6300 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm).
How do I get involved?
Email Joseph for further details. Come along to our meeting on 12th June.
What Do The Political Parties Think About High Stakes Testing?
After long silences on the issue, the main opposition parties, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, are all united in their opposition to SATs and high stakes testing. In their recent speeches to the NEU's Annual Conference, both Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran committed to abolishing SATs and Baseline Testing.
The Conservative Party, alone, is committed to continuing high stakes testing in schools. Despite the evidence of research, despite international opinion, and despite repeated messages from teachers, Theresa May's government is rigid in its belief in testing. Since 2010, Conservative-led governments have introduced new versions of SATs, as well as the Phonics Check and the forthcoming Multiplication Tables Check and Baseline Assessment of 4 year olds.
The Welsh government is one of those which is moving away from high-stakes testing. Its 2019 document A Transformative Curriculum states:
The evidence of the effects of 'high stakes' use of assessment information is accepted internationally .... By 'high stakes' we mean a system which places undue weight on outcomes and where 'failure' or perceived failure has consequences beyond what is intended or appropriate. In this case, it means that rather than being about the learner and guiding teaching and support to enable them to fulfil their potential, learner assessment has become something which is seen to reflect on the performance of teachers and schools.
Recent comments by Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, and Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, reinforce their commitment to high stakes testing as a measure for schools, not children.
See the NEU website — Too Much Testing