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Families from our region protest against primary school tests for four-year-olds

Parents and children at the protest Photo: ITV

Scores of children, parents and MPs marched to Downing Street today to oppose the government's plans to test four-year-olds within weeks of them starting school.

The so-called baseline assessments are expected to start this autumn.

It will see teachers put numeracy, literacy and language questions to four-year-olds over a period of 20 minutes.

Protestors are calling on the government to scrap primary school assessment plans Credit: ITV

Protesters, including under-fives and families from the South, are urging the government to reverse its plans.

They handed in a petition to Downing Street signed by more than 65,000 people.

Some parents have questioned proposals to test four-year-olds within the first two months of school.

One mother from Brighton described the plan as "an absolute nonsense"

"I'm horrified at the idea of testing four-year-olds. Aside from the moral arguments around it how can you actually reliably test a four-year-old in English and maths? It's an absolute nonsense.

– Gemma Haley - Parent from Brighton

However the Government insists the assessments are about holding schools to account "in a fairer way" on how they measure children's progress.

"It's not even about the children. It's about the school. It's about how do you hold the school in account in a fair way that measures the progress of a child from when they start in reception to when they leave in Year Six. It's a much fairer way. To do that you need you need to have a baseline from which to measure their progress.

– Nick Gibb - Minister for Schools, Department for Education
Parents and children heading to Downing Street Credit: ITV

A pilot of the Department for Education's plans is due to commence in September.

It will run in a number of schools in parts of England before being rolled out across the country in 2020.

A placard held by a protestor

Children's answers are expected to be recorded by teachers onto a electronic tablet.

Schools will be unable see the data as it will be sent to the DfE.

They will then compare it to results from the same children seven years later.