Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has been heckled at the National Association of Head Teachers’ conference in Birmingham.
Her words about the government’s academy plans and testing agenda were met with cries of “rubbish”.
She told the conference: “I hear the strength of feeling in the hall.”
Many are angry about plans for mass academisation in England by 2022, with incoming NAHT leader Kim Johnson saying the benefits are uncertain.
There has also been opposition from Labour politicians and from some Conservative MPs and councillors.
Mrs Morgan’s appearance at the conference comes as primary schools are grappling with a new set of tests for seven and 11-year-olds.
‘A lot of changes’
The education secretary apologised for the accidental publication of the key stage 1 Sats spelling paper on a government website, revealed last week, as she addressed the conference.
And she said she understood how much change primary heads had been dealing with this year.
“I recognise there have been a lot of changes – there’s a new curriculum, a new way of assessment and new tests,” she said.
In an attempt to reassure heads that schools would not be treated unfairly because of the unpredictability of tests results, she said the percentage of schools to be deemed failing would be held virtually flat at only 1% more.
But there was much vocal anger at her reluctance to make any changes to the testing regime.
“You’re not listening,” one delegate shouted, while others called: “How can you say that?”.
The BBC’s Robert Pigott said the reaction to Mrs Morgan’s comments were “just the right side of the line for being polite”, with “mirthless laughter” and “quite a lot of shouting” from the delegates.
‘Freedom to make decisions’
The education secretary said the tests were a vital part of raising standards, criticising plans by some parents to keep their children …read more
Source:: BBC UK