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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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School strike: 'No time in curriculum for test preparation'

Former headteacher Kit Messenger says tests come at the expense of other skills Credit: GMB

Children should not be trained for tests at the expense of developing "essential" skills such as reading, writing and grammar.

Former headteacher Kit Messenger, speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain, said she does not favour test preparation "to the sacrifice of skills that are absolutely essential for children's futures".

Although she advocates rigorous maths and writing teaching, Ms Messenger places more emphasis on developing workplace skills such as resilience and interpersonal ability.

Ms Messenger added exams "do not necessarily tell you where children are", and that "there is not the time within the curriculum" to prepare children for tests".

"If you look at the quantity that is required for teachers to teach in order for children to be successful in the papers now - it is to the sacrifice of everything else," she said.

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