TEACHERS in Bolton could boycott the controversial SATs next summer.

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) will carry out an indicative ballot next month and depending on the results a formal vote could take place leading to teachers refusing to administer the tests.

The move comes over concerns that the exams are affecting the mental health of pupils and also their primary education.

Julia Simpkins, Bolton branch secretary for the NEU said: "This is something the union feels very strongly about.

"Teachers are teaching to to the test, some primary schools are just teaching maths, English and science with arts, history and music being taught after the tests.

"Some children in the lead up to the tests have started wetting the bed and there are children who will sit and cry through the tests.

"The country which consistently does well in the PISA ­— Programme for International Student Assessment tables ­— is Finland, where children start formal education later and are not tested until GCSE age."

Ms Simpkins said that tests serve no purpose other than for the league tables.

"Secondary schools are quite clear the results of the SATs are not worth the paper they are written on," said Ms Simpkins, saying that teachers in primary school are able to concentrate on certain areas of a subject to get children through the tests, so does not give a true picture of the child.

Ms Simpkins says some headteachers in Bolton are backing the campaign against the national curriculum tests adding that today many children would have to pay for private dance and drama classes.