Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “The Reception Baseline Assessment and Multiplication Tables Check will be of no educational benefit to children and break the promise not to increase the assessment burden on primary schools. These tests will be a waste of valuable time, energy and money and should not be introduced.

“The proposed improvements to the assessment of writing are a welcome indication that the Department for Education is prepared to listen to the concerns of education professionals. The improvements could ensure that the experiences of teachers and pupils in this aspect of assessment are more positive in the future. However, if genuine progress is to be made, schools will need to see a clear plan of implementation in the very near future.

“Despite these improvements, the Government response confirms that Key Stage 1 will remain in place until at least 2023 and KS2 SATs will remain in place indefinitely. This is bad news for children, parents and education professionals.

“The Government envisages a future for primary education that continues to be dominated by high-stakes testing. The National Education Union believes that there are better ways of assessing children, and better ways of ensuring school accountability. We will work alongside parents and education professionals to stop the introduction of the Reception Baseline Assessment and Multiplication Table Check, and to replace the present broken system with one which will support schools to deliver the best education for every child.”