Children’s writers back SATs boycott
26.04.10 | Philip Jones

More than 90 children’s writers, including Michael Rosen, Alan Gibbons, and Roger McGough, have backed a statement in support of a boycott of SAT tests by teachers and have hit out at Government threats to use legal action to prevent the boycott.

The boycott is supported by both the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), and could begin early next month when some pupils are due to begin taking the latest tests. But reports have suggested that the Government could take legal action to stop the boycotts.

The Authors Against the SATs said the latest statement was compiled in 24 hours spurred by the press reports that the Department for Children, Schools and Families was considering legal action against the teachers’ unions boycotting the SATs.

“We support the boycott called by head teachers in the NUT and NAHT unions,” it read: “It is our view that reading for pleasure is being squeezed by the relentless pressure of testing and we are particularly concerned that the SATs and the preparation for them are creating an atmosphere of anxiety around the reading of literature. Resources now being channelled into testing could and should be redirected towards libraries, the training of librarians and book provision.”

And added: “We deplore Government threats to use legal action against a form of action which will give children more time to learn and will not disrupt their education in any way.”

Authors Against the SATs was founded in 1993 soon after the SAT tests were established, in order to campaign for their abolition.

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