Telegraph e-paper

Testing at age four will end in tears, unions complain


TESTING four-year-olds will only make them cry, teaching unions have warned, as they claim 2,000 schools are already boycotting the practice.

Teachers also said schools should consider refusing to take part because the tests are damaging to infants.

New plans to introduce literacy and numeracy checks for children just weeks after they start in reception is making them tearful and acting as a barrier between teachers and pupils, the Government has been warned.

After 2,000 schools opted out of the optional checks last year, leading unions are now telling teachers “you don’t have to do this”.

The tests, which are officially introduced this September, are technically not compulsory but will be used to chart children’s progress.

Ministers have insisted that the move will help ensure children leave primary school with a good standard of reading, writing and maths. But teachers argue the tests add nothing to a child’s learning.

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the ATL union, said: “Fouryear-olds are too young to be tested. They are inflicting a profound educational damage… [and] affecting children’s self-esteem.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “As part of our mission to deliver educational excellence everywhere, we want to see all children pushed to reach their potential.”





Daily Telegraph