More than twenty schools in North Devon have signed an open letter to education ministers.

Primary schools from across North Devon have called for reforms to primary education.

More than twenty schools in the area have signed an open letter to ministers Nicky Morgan and Nick Gibb on behalf of primary schools in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay.

The letter, which was written by Budleigh Salderton’s St Peter’s C of E Primary School headteacher, Steve Hitchcock, calls for the government to act on the ‘haemorrhaging of teachers and leaders from the profession’, ‘endless new initiatives’ and the way pupils are tested.

Newport Community School was one of the schools to sign the letter.

Headteacher Andy Cotton said: “The education on offer to children and their families relates directly to the quality of teaching and leadership in our schools.

“We need the best graduates to teach the future generation, especially in an area such as North Devon, with relative geographical isolation and high living costs.

“For some years recruitment of high quality teachers and leaders has become very challenging - this is as a result of Government policies, which are failing to attract sufficient numbers of high quality teachers to the profession.

“The current political leadership are failing schools and children for the reason outlined in our letter.”

More than 50 schools across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay have signed the letter, which calls for the government to pilot a new curriculum in the next academic year.

It said: “Curriculum time is increasingly under siege, narrowing the primary timetable in favour of mathematics and literacy.

“In the pursuit of PISA league table positions, we are losing sight of any considered vision and of our focus on the purpose for learning.”

“Teachers do not want to teach tests, but with a punitive accountibility regime, it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid.”

The National Union of Teachers called for a boycott on Key Stage 2 SATs in February.

The Devon teachers’ have proposed that schools are assessed through teacher accountability rather than through pupil tests.