Ofsted inspections will be affected by Sats boycott

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School inspections will be affected if the Sats boycott goes ahead, warns Schools Secretary Ed Balls.

Speaking after addressing the NAHT's annual conference in Liverpool, Secretary Ed Balls said the test results are an important part of information on which Ofsted make their assessment.

"It will be for Ofsted to work out the consequences in the schools that don't do the tests," Mr Balls said.

About 600,000 11-year-olds across England are due to take their SATs from next Monday.

But members of The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and the National Union of Teachers have already voted in support of a boycott of the tests.

Mr Balls said: "People feel sometimes the focus on narrow league tables is not fair and I agree with that."

However, he urged heads "not to go ahead with the boycott."

Half of England's 17,000 primary schools may boycott national tests for 10 and 11-year-olds.

National Union of Teachers general secretary Christine Blower told the National Association of Head Teachers conference that the number of teachers who had refused to administer the tests – formerly known as Sats – was growing.

"We are hearing that all over the country, 50% of schools – and counting – are going to do the boycott."

The National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Head Teachers are angry about the publication of the Sats results in league tables, which they say humiliates and demoralises schools and do not reflect their true achievements. They would prefer a system of assessment that highlights what children can do rather than focussing on failure. In that regards, the unions want the Sats to be replaced with teacher assessment.

Head teachers also face pressure from local authorities and governing bodies, who say their pay can be docked if they refuse to run the tests.