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  1. ITV Report

Should four-year-old children be tested as soon as they start school?

Three-year-old Joanie will start primary school in September Photo: ITV News

Thousands of pre-schoolers and their parents travelled to Downing Street today calling on the the government to scrap plans to test four-year-olds as soon as they start school.

The Government says the 'baseline assessment' will be a fairer measure for how primary schools are performing.

But those who oppose it say it's too much, too young.

Angela Roy says she does not want her daughter Joanie to take tests at the start of primary school Credit: ITV News
Angela and Joanie took to the streets in Westminster Credit: Angela Roy

Children at this age should be playing and learning through play. The idea of testing children in just a few months time is crazy to me. It's not the start to her school life that I want her to have.

– Angela Roy, mum from Totnes

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£9.8m
Approximate cost of the new test for four-year-olds and five-year-olds

The Government plans to introduce the baseline assessments in September 2020 following a pilot at some schools this autumn term.

The reception baseline assessment will help to provide a starting point to measure how well the school supports children to succeed. There is no pass mark, it is a short, interactive assessment that will help teachers understand how best to support children. Many schools already carry out assessments like this. The data will be used only to form the progress measure. No numerical score will be shared and the test will not be used to label or track individual children or to hold early-years providers to account.

– Department for Education spokesman
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb insists it is the schools that are being assessed Credit: ITV News

It's not even about the children, it's about the school. It's about how do you hold the school to account in a fair way that measures the progress in a child from when they start at reception to when they leave in year six.

– Schools Standards Minister Nick Gibb