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So says Conor Ryan, who describes himself as “A blogger about politics, education,  a Dublin-born writer and consultant, former adviser to Tony Blair and David Blunkett on education, based in Bath in the South West of England.”


Citing a Guardian report, http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/dec/10/vote-weakens-sats-boycott

The National Association of Head Teachers, the union that represents many of the heads in primary schools, has already voted to back a boycott of the tests, but is unlikely to go ahead without the NUT.

The tests for 11-year-olds in English, maths and science were introduced in 1995 and have always been controversial. Much of the opposition to the tests stems from the use of results to create league tables.

Ed Balls, the schools secretary, has announced reforms to next year’s tests which will see teacher assessments published alongside the externally marked tests.

Northern Ireland already publish these data. When PACE analysed the results one of the most obvious findings was the disparity between teacher assessments and the externally marked tests. Parents are likely to be misled over their child’s attainment by a significant margin. 

Last weeks failure by the local media, including the BBC, to pick up on the dramatic decline in  standards of lietracy and numeracy in post-primary schools https://paceni.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/northern-ireland%e2%80%99s-key-stage-3-literacy-levels-crash/ demonstrates the problem of accepting teacher union claims as being representative of their members.

The crying shame for parents and children is that individual teachers do not have the courage to raise their heads above the parapet and speak out.