sats2.jpg English head teachers in the two unions representing the majority of heads have voted overwhelmingly to boycott national testing The ballot of members of head teacher members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and members of the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) showed an overwhelming majority in favour of boycotting the tests, which are used to make league tables of schools in England. The campaign against SAT's has been spearheaded by the NUT and NAHT but there has also been vocal support from leading children's writers such as Michael Rosen and Philip Pullman and parents' organisations. Margaret Morrissey of parents' group Parents Aloud told the Guardian newspaper that she hoped the politicians would now listen to parents and teachers. In a letter to the Guardian Michael Rosen said: "Sats have turned the primary curriculum into a desert of work sheets, short extracts and a fear of failure." And he gave the following example: "In the very first key stage 2 Sats paper, the candidates were asked to say what was in a matchbox in a story by Jan Mark. The only correct answer was 'nothing', and yet the fun of the story is that the children 'fill' the matchbox with their fantasies and ideas. 'The children's imagination' would have been a wrong answer. Sats have turned many classrooms into places where children's imagination is always the wrong answer." At the same time as the English teachers - Australian teachers are also boycotting SAT's. (see previous posts)