Activists from the Primary Charter coordinated a letter to the Guardian signed by 80 activists including Philip Pullman and Michael Rosen:
The new baseline assessment tests being brought in to primary schools will mean pupils are assessed in the first couple of weeks of reception class. Last month, campaigners including professional associations, unions, academics and educationists called for the tests to be stopped because they: are statistically invalid; will formalise a testing culture from the age of four; will be used to judge teachers and schools; and, most importantly, will be dangerous for children.
Teachers in the NUT will be at their union conference over the Easter weekend, and the first motion on the agenda is one which calls for a different vision for primary education. This debate will centre on the baseline assessment.
The NUT will take a vote on a boycott of the tests. The union will also be asking parents to take part in the campaign by telling schools that they do not want their children to be subjected to this damaging experiment. Schools can bring the tests in this September, 2015. They can opt to use one of the six private providers set to make money from selling the tests to schools.
We do not want these tests to become part of the school routine as it will then be harder to get rid of them. We have the most overtested children in the developed world already, and the addition of the new baseline assessment will drive this test culture to an even younger age. We should not let that happen.
Sara Tomlinson Lambeth NUT and Primary Charter