“The resolution reflects the deep unhappiness of primary teachers in England with their current, SATs-based system of assessment. There can be no lasting solution to problems of children’s well-being, teacher workload, curriculum narrowness and teaching to the test unless our assessment system changes. In passing this resolution, NEU members have asserted their conviction that assessment must be supportive of learners and must be a matter of teachers’ professional judgment. The days of universal standardised testing, designed more to make judgments about school performance than about pupil learning, are numbered.

“The tide has turned against the government. Its assessment policies are increasingly rejected by parents, by international organisations like the OECD and by political opinion: Layla Moran’s clarion call this afternoon to abolish SATs and baseline assessment was one indicator that the government has lost the argument; the vote of NEU members to step up the campaign on assessment is another.

“The Union will continue and intensify its campaign to replace current arrangements for primary assessment with a system that supports children’s learning. It will seek to build the maximum support of members for this objective, and seek the broadest alliances with parents, educators, and political parties.”



Note to editors:

We are currently in Liverpool for our Annual Conference (15-18 April), during which time you will receive a higher number of press releases than usual.

The Conference Press Office can be reached on 0151 707 4642 (9am-6pm) and 07879 480 061 (24hrs). The press officer can be reached at caroline.cowie@neu.org.uk

Our conference agenda is available here: https://neu.org.uk/media/3861/view

The hashtag for Annual Conference is #NEU19 .

  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe.
  • It is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing its members in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
  • The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.