A group of four-year-olds will be marching to Downing Street to protest about government plans to introduce Reception baseline assessments.

The More Than A Score coalition of education experts, parents, heads and teachers has planned the march as part of its ongoing campaign against standardised assessment in primary schools.

On Thursday 25 April, the children will deliver a petition to No. 10 signed by over 65,000 people, demanding a halt to the Government’s plans to test four-year-olds when they start school.

More Than A Score is asking as many preschool children and parents as possible to join on the day, and the group plans to gather in Parliament Square at 12pm and arrive at Downing Street to hand in the petition at 1pm.

The Government intends to pilot baseline tests for children within their first few weeks of starting school in September 2019. The assessment will test maths and language skills and will take about 20 minutes. The scores will be used to set a baseline for a progress measure, which will show how children have progressed between Reception and Year 6. Baseline assessments are due to become mandatory in September 2020.

A More Than A Score spokesperson said:

“The Government has refused to listen to teachers, parents and early education experts, all of whom agree: testing four-year-olds within the first few weeks of starting school makes no sense. So we’re bringing the message directly to Westminster with the help of those who will be affected the most: children who will be starting school as these pointless and damaging plans are rolled out.

“We are still waiting for the Government to provide any evidence that four-year-olds can be reliably tested. Now over 65,000 people agree that this absurd plan should be halted in its tracks.”

More information on the “March of the four-year-olds” can be found here.

Last reviewed 15 April 2019