UP TO 3,600 pupils in Kirklees will not sit their SATs tests after teachers voted to boycott them.
Primary school pupils across the country are due to sit the exams in English and maths next month.
But following a vote by union members, 83 out of the 112 eligible schools in Kirklees have said they plan not to run Standard Assessment Tests, known as National Curriculum Tests.
As primary school heads gathered in Huddersfield yesterday to discuss the plans, council bosses admitted the boycott could affect thousands of 11-year-olds
A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said: “Preliminary information from trade unions indicates that around 83 schools in Kirklees may choose not to administer the end of the Key Stage 2 tests as part of the industrial action proposed.
“This action may affect up to 3,600 pupils.”
Members of the National Union of Teachers and National Association of Head Teachers have been campaigning for years for the SATs to be abolished.
Kirklees NUT secretary Howard Roberts slammed the tests as bad for education and for causing unnecessary stress to both pupils and teachers.
“These tests are grossly unfair,’’ he said. “They are nothing but public league tables for the humiliation of schools. That’s why we’re taking action and have strong support of the schools because they know it’s wrong.
“The schools are there to educate the children, but instead they are having to be put through these totally unfair series of tests which have nothing to do with education.
“This single set of results is being used to make a judgement on how good or bad a school is but, in reality, they tell parents next to nothing about what is being done in the schools or how hard they are working with the children.
“Children should be in school learning, not being trained how to take tests that will be used for some political league tables.
“These tests are also damaging to the mental health of staff and headteachers, who are put under an enormous amount of pressure to do well. The whole school community suffers.”
A private meeting was yesterday held at the Deighton Centre for primary school heads to discuss the planned boycott with union chiefs.
The decision not to administer the tests will be taken by individual headteachers, but several schools contacted by the Examiner yesterday would not comment on their stance.
Gill Goodswen, NUT president and former headteacher of Stile Common Junior School, said scrapping the tests would have no effect on children’s education.
She said: “The teachers work hard to prepare the children for their future school careers and whether they are tested or not has no bearing on this.
“SAT results don’t come back until June so don’t help the school develop the children’s learning anyway as they only have two months until they leave.
“The children are assessed regularly and the teachers know exactly how well they are doing.
“The results of the tests mean nothing because the high schools will be doing their own tests when they get there.
“These tests are an unnecessary stress on all concerned and it’s sad that children feel that in order to do well at high school they have to jump through these hoops because that simply isn’t true.”
The council said each school would notify parents of their decision, but this will not affect their choice of secondary schools as the places are already allocated.
Ms Goodswen added: “We are monitoring the situation carefully to get a full picture of what is happening in Kirklees schools and understand national guidance on dealing with the SAT boycott.
“We will issue guidance to governing bodies when the position is clear. We are also talking to neighbouring authorities to make sure we co-ordinate our approach.’’