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Testing times

League tables and performance indicators can make or break a school. So it’s maybe no surprise that, despite outrage from parents, teachers and education experts, a pilot of new baseline assessment for four-year-olds will be introduced in almost 10,000 primary schools this September.
Many primary headteachers are critical of Reception baseline assessments, with some branding them “appalling” and “total and utter madness,” according to research.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “The Reception baseline assessment is not a test. It does not have a pass mark, and there is no reason for parents or teachers to prepare pupils ahead of the assessment”.

Early Years and late starts.

All 4-year-olds have been entitled to government-funded early education since 1998 and in 2004 this was extended to all 3-year-olds. Since September 2017, working parents of 3- and 4-year-olds have been entitled to an additional 15 hours of funded childcare for 38 weeks of the year. There has been a significant rise in the number of parents asking for their summer-born children
to delay starting school. When asked for their reasons for delaying their child’s admission, the most common reason given was, whether parents felt their child was ready for school.

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