Baseline tests to measure children’s development are to be taken by four-year-olds instead of waiting until pupils are seven.
The tests, starting from 2016, are to be taken within weeks of a child entering reception year and are intended to be used as a means of measuring progress from age four to 11.
Proposals to make children take the tests aged four were put out for consultation by the Department for Education last year and, according to The Times, the government has decided to go ahead with the plan.
In the consultation paper it was said the tests could be taken between two and six weeks of a child starting in reception class and would be administered by a teacher with results checks carried out by externally.
Mathematical skills, reading ability and short-term memory could all be assessed in the tests but critics have said that it is difficult to devise accurate measures for children so young.