School kids in south-east London and north Kent are “on strike” today (May 3), in protest at controversial tests for six and seven-year-olds.

More than 45,000 people have now signed a petition to boycott Year 2 Sats, created by trachers.

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The Let Our Kids Be Kids campaign has organised the day of protest at children being “over-tested, over-worked and in a school system that places more importance on test results and league tables than children's happiness and joy of learning”.

The petition added: “We want our kids to be kids again and enjoy learning for learning's sake, not for Ofsted results or league table figures.

“Bring back the creativity and the fun - say goodbye to repetition and boredom.”

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Sats are taken by children aged six or seven in Year 2 and then again in Year 6, aged 10 or 11, before a third set in Year 9, aged 13 or 14.

Former head teacher Kit Messenger, who quit the profession after 23 years after claiming schools are “factory farming” children, told ITV's Good Morning Britain she believes in pushing children on their reading, writing and grammar.

But she said this should not be at the sacrifice of other essential workplace skills such as resilience and interpersonal abilities.

She added: “If you look at the quantity that is required for teachers to teach in order for children to be successful in the papers now - it is to the sacrifice of everything else.”

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Schools minister Nick Gibb said: “These tests are vital in helping schools to ensure that young children are learning to read, write and add up well.

“The truth is, if they don't master literacy and numeracy early on, they risk being held behind and struggling for the rest of their lives.”

Parents, did YOU keep your kids off school today? Get in touch to tell us why: