“Damian Hinds claims that the SATs are not about testing children. Today’s statement gives the lie to that: it tells us that over a third of 11-year-olds will arrive in their new secondary school in September knowing that they have been labelled as ‘below the expected standard’. This demoralising outcome is the result of policy-makers’ delusion that to measure the performance of our primary school system it is necessary to test each individual pupil.

‘Test-driven primary assessment is damaging children’s mental health and well-being; it intensifies the stress on teachers. Preparing children for SATs squeezes out other parts of the curriculum.

‘As the NEU’s latest poll shows, the overwhelming majority of teachers want to see an end to SATs. They are supported by all the opposition parties. The tide has turned against high-stakes testing.  Announcements like today’s will soon be a thing of the past.”


Editor’s Note

The indicative ballot by the National Education Union was conducted from 4 June to 2 July 2019.

Number of papers issued: 141,107

Total papers returned: 54,591 (39%)

An indicative ballot is a way for the union to understand what members think about an issue and if they feel strongly enough to take industrial action. The NEU rulebook stipulates that the union must undertake an indicative ballot before progressing to an industrial action ballot.

An indicative ballot is not a statutory ballot and therefore is not bound by any legal process. It does not, therefore, need to meet the legal ballot thresholds for formal ballots (50% of all members to vote and 40% of all members to vote yes) to take legal action.


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