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Parents keep children off school in protest of controversial exams

Parents are keeping their children off school for the day in protest at controversial tests for 6 and 7-year-olds. Strikes like this in Gloucester are taking place across the country.

Parents and children on strike from school in Gloucester over SATS . Credit: ITV West Country
Some parents say testing 7 to 11 year olds is stifling creativity. Credit: ITV West Country

The action comes after more than 40,000 people signed a petition supporting a boycott of Year 2 Sats by teachers.

The 'Let Our Kids Be Kids' campaign has organised the day of action in protest at children being "over-tested, over-worked and in a school system that places more importance on test results and league tables than children's happiness and joy of learning".

Speaking on Saturday, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan warned that missing school even for a single day would be "harmful" and called for those behind the "damaging" campaign to reconsider.

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'How could anyone think that my son was overweight?'

Jack McKenzie was branded as overweight when a school nurse calculated his BMI from his height and weight.

His mum Emily hopes to begin a campaign to find a different way of measuring children.

Emily says her son is growing, and the measurement reflects badly on parents, causing some to form unfair opinions of them.

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  1. West Country (W)

Drop out rate for Ten Tors less than 10 per cent

First team to cross the finishing line

More than two thousand teenagers from across the West took part in the annual Ten Tors event this weekend. In teams of six, the 14-19 year olds walked routes of 35, 45 or 55 miles, depending on their age.

This year 365 teams entered, with 325 completing the course. The drop out rate was just under 10 per cent. After a shower on the start line, the weather was relatively good for the teenagers.

First across the line was the Combined Cadet Force from Churcher's College in Hampshire at 09:10. It's the second year in a row they've been the first team to finish the 35 mile course. They were closely followed by the teams from Pilton Community College in Barnstaple and Kingswood School in Bath.

Morale was high at the finish line, as tired teenagers were reunited with worried parents:

Now in its 55th year, the event has become one of the biggest tri-service military exercises in Britain. Brigadier Jez Bennett, who organises the event, says the challenge is now more important than ever - teaching teenagers to respect the outdoors and each other:

The teams of students, scouts, ramblers and cadets come from Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. They start training months in advance, for what is often one of the toughest challenges of their lives. This weekend they have been tested to their limits - and many will be back again next year to do it all again.

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