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School strike: 'SATs stress like Charles Dickens scene'

"Let Our Kids Be Kids" campaign kicks off Credit: Good Morning Britain

SATs exams are leaving schoolchildren "disengaged and stressed", according to some parents.

Thousands of children are being kept at home on Tuesday as part of a Let Our Kids Be Kids campaign against tests for six, seven and 11-year-olds.

Ben Ramalingam, who is keeping his five-year-old son off school, said some parents believe the situation is turning into a "mental health crisis".

"We are concerned parents taking a stand, we don't want our kids to be stressed out by the time they become teenagers because they have been inappropriately taught", he said.

"Our children are being pushed towards rote-based learning. It is like something out of Charles Dickens".

Jane Clout said: "I'm a grandmother and I sent my children through the state system in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and when I first started taking these boys to school I was struck by how primary schools have improved.

"But this is like going back to the 1950s".

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Children boycotting school in protest over SATs

Schoolchildren in Lancaster are among thousands not going to class today in protest over rigorous new testing for six and seven-year-olds.

Good Morning Britain Correspondent Katy Rickitt is with a number of children who are campaigning against the SATs - introduced to the curriculum last year.

2,000 Edinburgh pupils return to classrooms after closures

Edinburgh Council closed 17 schools due to a 'significant and new construction issue'. Credit: Andrew Milligan / PA

Around 2,000 Edinburgh pupils will return to classrooms on Wednesday following the closure of 17 schools amid serious safety concerns.

Pupils from Oxgangs and St Peter's schools will use alternative arrangements, but around 5,000 are still waiting at home.

Alternative measures have also been arranged for Craigroyston and Castleview primary schools.

Craigroyston pupils will be relocated to Craigroyston Community High School on a phased basis, while Castleview pupils will be relocated to Castlebrae High School from 19 April.

Andrew Kerr, chief executive of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "I fully recognise the significant inconvenience to parents caused by these closures, and I want to thank them for their patience as we continue to work through this issue."

The council closed 17 schools on 8 April due to "a significant and new construction issue". The closures affect around 9,000 students.

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Teachers may strike over 'intolerable' classroom workload

Teachers look set to ballot over strike action Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Teachers could be set to strike over 'intolerable' classroom workloads after voting on a motion suggesting the use of industrial action during this weekend's National Union of Teachers conference.

Members of the profession attending the annual conference voted in favour of "building a campaign to persuade members that national strike action will be necessary to bring about changes in the intolerable working conditions, and lack of work-life balance, created by current Government policies".

The agreement to consider industrial action came as NUT members spoke of the pressures they face which they claim are driven by increasing student numbers, a growing teacher shortage, and reduced funding for schools.

Laura Fisher, a teacher from Wakefield, told the conference that while strike action was difficult she believed it may be necessary.

She said: "I know striking is a difficult subject, it is still the biggest debate within ourselves. People say, 'I didn't become a teacher to strike'.

"But every day I strike, I am teaching children the biggest lesson of all - that their education is worth fighting for."

Members will still need to be balloted before any strike action can get the go ahead.

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