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Boycott snag;Diary

TALKING OF tests, bolshy profs at King's College London are urging a boycott of the (admittedly bizarre) new maths tests for trainee teachers.

These are the papers new teachers must pass to prove they can understand OFSTED reports, work out their league table rankings and, er, convert weights and temperatures.

Staff at King's want a boycott because the tests hadn't been announced when this year's intake signed up for their courses. E-mails have gone to UCET, the body representing the UK's teacher training departments, demanding as much.

Except UCET can't order a boycott, however sympathetic it is. "We're not a trade union," says chairman Mike Newby.

Still, academics at King's can surely take a lone stand? Afraid not - because they won't be involved. Head of education Dylan Wiliam, another sympathiser, says: "We have professional invigilators."

So it looks like any boycott is down to the students - and how many of them are likely to jeopardise their careers?

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