Teachers have put their backing into moving towards a boycott of primary school tests in England next year due to increasing pressures on children.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) says the tests for seven and 11-year-olds are damaging to children and education. Last year’s SATs results saw 47% of children ‘failing’ the tests for 11-year-olds in their final year of primary school. They included high level grammar questions and a reading paper that many teachers themselves called out as extremely difficult.

One NUT delegate labelled the tests as the “monster stalking our schools”.

This feeling seemed to be mirrored by teachers at the NUT conference as they backed a motion for an indicative ballot on a SATs boycott. The matter will be debated further in the coming days in order to gain backing for a full ballot of all union members.

For the government, this news certainly doesn’t help the growing distaste among the teaching population. Figures shared exclusively with ITV News last week by the NUT estimated that 350 teachers in the north east and Yorkshire had left the profession in the first quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, according to NASUWT, 69% of teachers had said they had considered seriously leaving the profession in the past year.