Three pre-school children knocked on the door of 10 Downing Street to ask the Government not to make them sit controversial new school “tests”.
Hundreds of people, including other four-year-olds, parents, teachers and MPs, marched from Parliament Square to protest against a 20-minute “baseline assessment” that children could soon be sitting within their first term at school.
The children delivered a petition, addressed to school’s minister Nick Gibb, which included 65,000 signatures opposing the Government’s plans.
Those who knocked on the PM’s door were Alex Harrison, five, in reception class at Westdene Primary, Brighton, Safa Patel, four, in reception class at Highlands Primary School, Redbridge, east London and Isla Tart, four, in the nursery class at Purwell Primary School in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.
Although campaigners say children will be subject to tests, the Department for Education (DfE) contends this is not the case because there is no pass mark and no reason for pupils to be prepared for it.
The DfE said they are simply an assessment of maths, language and literacy skills.
Children will give answers by pointing, moving objects and giving oral responses, and teachers will make note of their responses on an iPad. The idea is to provide a baseline from which a schools' teaching can be judged from reception to year six.
The pilot will run this September in some schools and will then be rolled out across England in 2020.