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Parents keep children off school in protest over controversial exams

Parents have kept their children off school for the day in protest over controversial tests for six and seven-year-olds.

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".

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan had 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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New SATs 'ensure children master basic skills'

Chris McGovern is a retired headteacher with 35 years' teaching experience Credit: PA

New tougher SATs "ensure" schools help children master basic employment skills such as literacy and numeracy.

Campaign for Real Education chairman Chris McGovern criticised Tuesday's "Let Kids Be Kids" campaign, saying using children as part of the protest is a "sure way of upsetting their sanity and wellbeing".

Mr McGovern said British school-leavers are shown to be doing "very badly" and believes the UK has become an "education basket case".

OECD figures reveal by the age of 15 UK youngsters are up to three years behind 15 year-olds in parts of the Asia-Pacific.

Mr McGovern said the latest figures are tantamount to a "betrayal" of the younger generation.

"Yes, we need to let kids be kids but we need to ensure that they have a future, too", he says.

"SATs are an educational health check. For short-term pain they provide long-term gain".

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